Flood gates are closed; Mississippi Drive, Riverside Park closed due to flooding – Voice Of Muscatine

(City of Muscatine)

The Department of Public Works (DPW) installed Flood Gate 1 (at Mulberry and East Mississippi Drive) Tuesday morning as the Mississippi River continues to rise. Flood Gate 2 (East 2nd Street at Mad Creek) was closed this afternoon due to high water in Mad Creek and the prediction of up to five inches of rainfall this evening and overnight according to City officials.

The City will also be setting up barricades at the Cedar Street and Iowa Avenue railroad crossings to close off access to Riverside Park late this afternoon once vehicles currently parked inside Riverside Park are moved. Access to the Gas Dock and to the Boat Harbor and Marina have already been closed off as flood waters have begun to cover Harbor Drive. The Running River Trail through the park will also be closed to the public.

“As high as the water is today in Mad Creek and the potential for heavy rain later today, we have decided to close Flood Gate 2 this afternoon to prevent the possibility of a flash flood down 2nd Street,” Brian Stineman, Public Works Director, said.

As late as Monday afternoon, the City had anticipated closing Flood Gate 2 on Friday. However, the forecasted rainfall along with the continuing rise of Mad Creek and the Mississippi River moved that schedule up.

Public Works staff set up signage for the detour Tuesday morning. The northbound detour will not change from previous notices according to Stineman. (See MONDAY release) Vehicles will be diverted at Main Street and directed over 8th Street to Cypress and then out Isett or Washington Street to Park Avenue.

Coming off the Norbert F. Beckey Bridge vehicles will be detoured to 2nd Street and Park Avenue. At that point they can proceed downtown by taking 5th Street or use the bypass to continue around town.

Mississippi Drive will be closed from Chestnut to Mulberry and 2nd Street will be closed from Oak Street to Iowa Highway 92. The west closure of Mississippi Drive will be moved from Chestnut to Iowa on Friday once cleanup of the Fourth of July event has been completed and the stage removed from Iowa Avenue. Once the closure has been relocated, the northbound detour will be moved from Main Street to Iowa Avenue.

Also today, River Road was closed from Canon to Sherman as the river level rose above 18.6 feet. Access to Spillway Lane and to the Running River Trail system in this area was also affected by the floodwaters.

On Wednesday (July 3) Public Works staff will begin staging Muscle Wall on Sycamore Street between #1 Alley and Mississippi Drive, while leaving access to the Sycamore Street parking lot. The Muscle Wall will be installed on Friday between Cedar and Iowa.

“Once the detour is moved to Iowa and the wall is in place our downtown flood prep will be completed and we will begin constant monitoring,” Stineman said.

The Fourth of July events previously scheduled for Riverside Park will be held on the closed section of Mississippi Drive. Spectators can set up to view the firework display on the closed streets with free parking throughout the downtown district. Spectators are cautioned that there may be some water near the catch basins on Mississippi Drive at Walnut Street, so please be careful and stay away from flood waters. However, based on current projections Walnut Street should be dry through the Fourth of July.

The current forecast indicates that the river will reach major flood stage (20-feet) Thursday evening with a current projection that the river will level out at 21.5 feet Sunday. However, additional rain in the upper Mississippi River watershed has the potential to raise the forecasted river levels and delay the crests.

Flood preparations are subject to change based on the river forecast. Residents are urged to be alert to changing conditions especially if they live in low lying areas or along the riverfront.