MUSCATINE — Light snow fell over Muscatine as the city announced Public Works crews have closed parts of Mississippi Drive due to rising river water.
“This is a precautionary measure as we continue to observe how the reconstructed Mississippi Drive fairs under these conditions," Public Works Director Brian Stineman said of the closure in a news release. "It is probably safe to say that this closure will last at least a week while the river slowly falls over the next 10 days.”
The two blocks of Mississippi Drive from Cedar Street to Mulberry Avenue are closed as the Mississippi River, currently at major flood stage of 20.16 feet, continues to rise. Water is covering the intersection at Walnut Street with water anticipated at 20.6 feet by Sunday. The roadway was reopened last week.
The city will also install the flood barrier later today at Mississippi Drive and Mulberry Avenue, and have already closed Riverside Park and the flood gate on 2nd Street at Mad Creek.
“The improvements to Mississippi Drive have allowed us to keep the street open for about one foot more of flood elevation which, in this case, is equal to having the road open for an extra two days," Stineman said in the release.
Raising the road about 12 inches from Iowa to Mulberry was part of the reconstruction of Mississippi Drive to prevent closures during flooding. Prior to the project, a water level of 18-19 feet would back up storm drains and cover the road at Walnut Street.
The city has detoured traffic around the closed gate on 2nd Street to Park Avenue to 5th Street with temporary stop signs at 5th and Cypress streets.
While heavy flooding is likely into next week, Meterologist David Sheets from the National Weather Service Quad-Cities said snow this time of year is not typical, but it does happen.
"I think about every October we at least see snow before the month is over," he said.
No snow is in the upcoming forecast and Sheets said it's still too warm for anything to accumulate. He said frost is expected tonight and Sunday night.
For more information, visit the City of Muscatine Public Works page.