Davenport prepares for flood season

The Mississippi River hasn’t hit major flood stage since the historic flood of 2019
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 6:14 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The last time davenport saw major flooding was in May of 2019 when the river hit a record level of 22.70 feet.

Here’s a look at the top five historic crests of the Mississippi river which dates all the way back to 1868.

According to the National Weather Service and the City of Davenport, we likely wont see record breaking levels this year.

“What the National Weather Service is telling us is the level of flooding is really going to be dependent on two things,” Nicole Gleason with Davenport Public Works said. “It’s going to be the rate of melt north of us to your point exactly and then also the volume of rain.”

With the states north of Iowa and Illinois receiving lots of snow this past winter, if that all melts relatively fast, we could see major flooding in the Mississippi river.

KWQC Meteorologist Cyle Dickens shed some light about how these snowfall totals up north will impact our area.

“You got to really think of the Mississippi River, especially up north is like a funnel,” Dickens said. “So we have a bunch of lakes and rivers and tributaries up in Minnesota and Wisconsin. And it’s like a funnel, all that water that comes from their funnels into the Mississippi, when we see snow that melts fast, all that has to go somewhere, and it fills up that funnel, and it over fills the banks usually, and that is a long lasting effect on us down here.”

Officials in Davenport are being proactive when it comes to preparations.

“We will start collecting sandbag requests,” Gleason said. “If we do start seeing that projection go up. We do have ample empty sandbags and we will start proactively filling those. We did do training on temporary floodwall installation. So we had training with the Army Corps several years ago. And we were able to videotape that training. And of course, we have staff who has been through it multiple times.”

City officials also offered a piece of advice to those who may be impacted by flooding.

“We just like to recommend don’t drive through water at all,” Gleason said. “It’s best to seek an alternate route. If you see water, and there’s not a barrier in place yet, give us a call and let us know. So we can check it out and determine if a barrier does need to go up.”