Burlington Steamboat Days Unaffected by Mississippi Flooding - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Burlington Steamboat Days Unaffected by Mississippi Flooding

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The Mississippi River in Burlington remains at moderate flood stage - 17.1 feet, when the flooding impact starts at 15.

But, despite some minor flooding issues, it's still full steam ahead for Burlington Steamboat Days.

The message when you call the Burlington Steamboat Days office number and hotline pretty much says it all: "Yes, Burlington Steamboat Days fans, we are still above water. We love those Hesco baskets. They are keeping us dry," the message begins.

Having a dry concert venue right along the river front continues to be a big draw:

"Generally, on any given night, we could have as many as eight to ten thousand people. Some of the big crowds: 17, 18, 20 thousand people," Steamboat Days President Mike Johnstone said.

Even before the gates opened Friday night, a long line of people had formed, waiting to get in to see the show.

Even longtime volunteers are surprised by the turnout they've seen so far this year:

"Busy. Incredibly busy. Busier than what we thought actually," Sean Chapin told us. He and his wife Machell have volunteered for the Steamboat Days for the last eleven years.

Now, the flooding situation is hard to miss: You can see the Hesco barriers in place to protect the Auditorium building - and the busy Steamboat Days office that calls it home. You can also see the high water swelling the Mississippi just beyond the railing.

That said, you'd be hard pressed to spot any real impact from the flooding on this year's event:

"The only difference you'll see is that the carnival is about three rides short of what it normally is because we had some flooding on the south end," Johnstone said.

But, while the flooding itself is posing no major problems, all the TALK of flooding leading up to the festival did take its toll. Ticket sales were off to a slow start.

"It takes a pretty good flood to stop it, and we did some pretty good publicity. A lot of folks waited until the last week or so to get them, but we're right on target now," Johnstone explained.

And, there are still two more big nights to go.

Tickets are still available for Saturday night's Kid Rock concert, and to see Bridgit Mendler on Sunday. You can buy your tickets online at www.steamboatdays.com.

The Burlington Steamboat Days has only been majorly disrupted by flooding once in its 51 year history. The festival had to be cut short back in 2008.

This year, the shows will go on rain or shine - But, cloud to ground lightning would cause a weather delay.

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