The Public Works Street Department spent Wednesday morning training staff and exercising Mississippi Drive Structure #1. The gate is located adjacent to the seawall at the eastern end of Mississippi Drive.
Tyson Wedekind, Roadway Maintenance Supervisor, stated that just four of the current staff had participated in a previous installation of the floodgate so the training was needed to get all staff up to speed on the deployment procedures for the gate.
Exercising the flood gate involves the installation of each piece of the structure, physical inspection of each piece and accomplishing repairs as needed, and dismantling and proper storage of each piece of the structure. Training was supervised by staff members who had participated in a previous installation.
Annual drills (exercises) are conducted to retain familiarity with the mechanics and manpower requirements of installing closure structures in years when the actual need to close does not occur. Sporadic intervals of personnel turnover make drills extremely necessary. Conduct gate closure drills on Mississippi Drive Structure #1 and on East 2nd Street Structure #2. The structure on East 2 nd Street was cleaned and exercised on March 15.
Flood gates were removed from 5th Street in 2006 when the bridge was elevated, therefore, no action is required at 5th Street. Two other flood gates cross CP Rail tracks including one across from the bluff on Mississippi Drive, and the other just south of Washington Street on the spur towards HeinzKraft.
The Mississippi River is currently at 14.33 feet and is expected to rise to 15.3 feet by next Tuesday. The current forecast is for the Mississippi to reach minor (16 feet) to moderate (18 feet) flood stage by the first week of May. A level of 18 feet would affect most of the parking area inside Riverside Park.
Watch a video of the procedure below via YouTube: