MUSCATINE, Iowa – The Department of Public Works has been keeping a close eye on the rising Mississippi River and announced this afternoon that access to Riverside Park was restricted Thursday (Oct. 11) afternoon and will be completely closed at the end of the day Thursday as soon as all cars are out of the parking lot.
The latest advisory from the Army Corps of Engineers has the Mississippi River rising to 20.9 feet on Sunday. Currently the river is at 19.65 feet.
Public Works Director Brian Stineman said that the flood barrier at the intersection of East Mississippi Drive and Mulberry Avenue will be installed at 9 a.m. Friday, or earlier depending on water elevation.
“The improvements to Mississippi Drive have allowed us to keep the street open for about one foot more of flood elevation which, in this case, is equal to having the road open for an extra two days,” Stineman said.
Stineman said that it is anticipated that water will begin to come out of the catch basins on Mississippi Drive at Walnut Street when the river reaches 19.8 feet. That is expected to begin at about 12 a.m. tonight and by 7 a.m. Friday (Oct. 12) water will cover Mississippi Drive at Walnut Street.
“We anticipate closing Mississippi Drive from Cedar to Mulberry at the #1 alley sometime between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Friday,” Stineman said. “However, we want to take a little time to confirm the water elevation on the roadway before we close it.”
Additional closures will just depend on the river.
“After these closures, we should be able to h old steady unless the river goes over 21 feet,” Stineman said. “At that time closures on Mississippi Drive will be expanded.”
The City closed the 2nd Street flood gate at Mad Creek on Tuesday (Oct. 9).
DPW crews have been monitoring the effects of the rising river on the reconstructed and recently reopened Mississippi Drive. The reconstruction was aided, in part, by the Canadian Pacific raising the railroad after the 2014 flood. To match that change in elevation and to prevent future closures of Mississippi Drive due to flood waters, the roadway from Iowa to Mulberry was raised nearly a foot.
Before the reconstruction, a flood stage of 18.2 feet would see water start backing out of the storm inlets at Mississippi Drive and Walnut with two lanes covered at 19.2 feet and all four lanes at 19.5 feet.
With the flood gate closed at Mad Creek traffic into downtown Muscatine is detoured from the east to Park Avenue to 5th Street (non-truck traffic or Washington for truck traffic) to Mulberry Avenue. Temporary stop signs have been put in place at the intersection of 5th and Cypress.
For more information, visit Flood Resources on the Public Works page on the City of Muscatine web site.