Disastrous forecast realized in Davenport flood


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Davenport flooding in 2011 (flickr).

Julia Poska|May 2, 2019

The Quad Cities have been preparing since the National Weather Service reported earlier this year a 95 percent chance of pronounced flooding in the area through May. As of Tuesday, their temporary barriers had been in place for 48 days. This week, their preparations proved insufficient.

Tuesday afternoon, Mississippi River floodwaters suddenly rushed into Davenport when HESCO Barriers — military grade defense boxes used to make temporary walls — succumbed to the force of the water. Officials saw early signs, the Quad City Times and Dispatch-Argus reported, and began urging people in some areas to evacuate when the temporary levees began breaking around 3:30 pm. The HESCO barriers had never been tested in waters above 21.5 feet, but as of 4:30 pm the Mississippi was at 21.87 feet, heading quickly to the expected 22.4 foot crest.

Not everyone received or took seriously the evacuation warnings, and many had to be rescued by boat after the fact. Once the water came rushing in, there was little time to take action. No serious injuries were reported.

The Weather Channel reported that floodwater began to recede Wednesday morning, and that at their peak levels surpassed 6 feet in some areas. A new expected crest of 22.7 feet is expected later today, which could surpass the 22.6 foot record set in 1993.

Scott County officials and Gov. Kim Reynolds are hoping President Trump’s earlier disaster declaration for western Iowa will extend into the Quad Cities area, local media reported.

 

 

Wapsipinicon River Behavior Baffles Forecasters


Photo by J. Stephen Conn; Flickr

 

While Independence avoided the predicted flood damage, areas around Anamosa through the De Witt area are still experiencing dangerous water levels.

Resources are being shifted from Independence to the areas that are seeing some of the worst record levels in history. Many homes near Anamosa have already been evacuated and are covered in water.

Thursday morning’s flood warning from the forecasters was ambiguous:

“There remains a great deal of uncertainty about why the river has not responded as previously expected considering the 4 to 7 inches of rain that fell on saturated ground Monday night.”

To read more about the Wapsi flood concerns, click here.

Debate in Rock Island over potential deer kill


Photo by fifteenthirty, Flickr.

A debate in Rock Island continues over whether or not the city should have a deer kill to thin their deer population.

Proponents of the kill argue that the deer population is already too high, and they fear that it will continue to increase if they do not take action.

Many of these proponents are upset about the number of plants and gardens destroyed by the deer. Some residents also feel that they can no longer let children play in their yards without constant supervision due to the large deer population.

On the other side, opponents argue that the issues caused by the deer are not great enough to justify killing them. Some opponents also worry about potential accidents caused by hunting, especially in such a residential city.

Part of the problem in this debate is that the deer population is unknown. An aerial survey would reveal the deer population, but this requires a layer of snow on the ground.

Read more about this issue from KWQC here.

Muscatine company moves to improve air quality


Grain Processing Corp., a Muscatine-based firm that has not done much to help boost Eastern Iowa’s air quality, announced yesterday that it was going to change it’s tune.

They have pledged $100 million dollars over the next four years to improve air quality and reduce emissions.

The Muscatine Journal reports:

Grain Processing Corp. announced Tuesday it will spend $100 million over the next four years to substantially clear Muscatine’s air of sulfur dioxide and small particle emissions.

The company will build a $75 million, state-of-the-art dryer at the plant site along the Mississippi River and will spend $20 million to upgrade environmental control systems for its boilers. Continue reading