The 2nd Street flood gate at Mad Creek has been closed by the Department of Public Works as the Mississippi River continues to rise and there are plans to close the flood gate at Mississippi Drive and Mulberry Avenue on Friday, according to Communications Manager Kevin Jenison.
The river is expected to reach major flood stage (20 feet) Saturday and 20.8 feet by Tuesday, according to a city news release, but heavy rain could increase that over the next few days. The river was 19.36 feet as of Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
"We will be closely monitoring the river and Corps of Engineers flood predictions," Director of Public Works Brian Stineman said in the release.
A time to close the gate at Mississippi Drive and Mulberry Avenue has not been determined, Jenison said. Heinz and HNI have been notified to adjust their schedules and residents are asked to not park in Riverside Park. It is anticipated to be completely submerged by this weekend.
"The best advice for the public right now is to avoid areas where the water is over sidewalks or the streets," Jenison said. "The phrase 'turn around, don't drown' is one of the key messages we are putting out."
With the flood gate closed, traffic into downtown Muscatine is detoured from the east to Park Avenue to 5th Street (non-truck traffic or Washington for truck traffic) to Mulberry Avenue, according to the news release. There are temporary stop signs at the intersection of 5th and Cypress.
The gate closure will affect the time schedule for construction work on 2nd Street. KE Flatwork was planning to pour concrete in the eastbound lane from the railroad crossing to Mad Creek, but had to make a temporary lane from Oak Street to Family Dollar.
"One of the items that we are interested in is how the raised and reconstructed Mississippi Drive will fair under these conditions," Jenison said. "This is the highest level since 2014 and currently ranks 20th on the all-time historic crests. If we do reach the predicted crest of 20.8 feet that would move this flood to 16th all-time."
For more information, click on Flood Resources on the Public Works page on the City of Muscatine web site.