Flooding slams downtown Davenport, pushing all-time record

Pat Wise
May 4, 2019

A meteorologist says there's not much risk of rainfall heavy enough to further raise the Mississippi River flood threat in eastern Iowa.

Portions of a downtown Iowa city were flooded after a levee meant to keep the Mississippi River's rising waters at bay failed, officials said.

"The reality is, we have to take a look at if the rain keeps flowing and the flood keeps flooding, we have to wait until that recedes until we can come in and make long-term changes", said Frank Klipsch, the mayor of Davenport.

The Mississippi River ticked above levels reached in 1993 in Davenport, Iowa, the highest level there in 157 years. The service isn't warning of severe weather upstream either, he said.

Meanwhile, cities downstream remain largely dry, but are preparing for a flood threat that could stretch into the summer.

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The Yellow River in Knox was just under 9 feet shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday.

In other areas throughout the Midwest and the South, flooding has made roads impassable and forced the closure of two Mississippi River bridges in Quincy, Illinois, and Louisiana, Missouri. The river was expected to crest at about 14 feet at about 2 a.m. Friday, according to the NWS.

"We're going to have a full-fledged flood fight", Hark said. The building is now filled with inches of water and likely will be for some time.

While there are no major flood concerns in the Fox Valley, our sister station WCSJ reports that the Illinois River in Morris could see historic levels.

The National Weather Service projects the river will reach 12 1/2 feet above flood stage in St. Louis, which would leave it lapping at the steps of the Gateway Arch grounds. But the high water could bring a mandatory halt to river traffic, including barges.

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