MUSCATINE, Iowa – The City of Muscatine reopened two blocks of Mississippi Drive Monday (Oct. 15) afternoon that was closed to traffic as a precautionary measure due to the rising Mississippi River.
The Mississippi River crested at 22.77 feet Saturday afternoon and has been falling since then. The current observation has the river at 19.64 feet and falling. The Army Corps of Engineers anticipates the river to be below 19 feet on Wednesday and will continue a slow fall.
The 10-day forecast calls for sunny skies and no rain which will aid the receding of the flood waters.
Major flood stage at Muscatine is at 20-feet with moderate flood stage at 18-feet.
DPW crews also took down the flood barrier at the intersection of Mississippi Drive and Mulberry Avenue. Riverside Park will remain closed at the present time and the City will also keep the flood gate on 2nd Street at Mad Creek closed.
Floods this late in the year are not common but have occurred at least four other times. The 2018 October flood has become the highest crest of a late year flood at 20.77 feet. A crest of 20.59 feet was recorded on October 7, 1986, a crest of 18.63 feet was recorded on October 3, 2016, and a crest of 18.50 feet was recorded on September 24, 1938. The latest flood stage was reached came on December 26, 2015, when the river crested at 16.19 feet.
DPW crews have been monitoring the effects of the rising river on the reconstructed 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.