Iowa town wrestles with cresting Mississippi floodwaters

The town of Davenport, Iowa, was working furiously to fight a near record crest of the Mississippi River after it had caused flooding in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, according to a USA Today report.

April 24, 2001--The town of Davenport, Iowa, was working furiously to fight a near record crest of the Mississippi River after it had caused flooding in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, according to a USA Today report.

Davenport, which does not have a flood wall, saw levels of 22.1 feet early Tuesday, just shy of its 1993 record of 22.6 feet. Residents expected to see the river crest at 22.5 feet, more than 7 feet above flood stage.

Sandbagging volunteers including prison inmates worked with the National Guard to protect the first homes in the path of the flood.

As of Monday, 1,115 homes had been damaged by flooding, the state Emergency Management Division said.

A Federal Emergency Management Agency official criticized Davenport for choosing not to build a flood wall in order to attract extra tourism money.

Following is a FEMA summary of the flood:

In Minnesota, conditions continue to improve on the Red River where rainfall amounts were not as heavy as earlier predicted. Flood fight operations have been successful. Currently there are 181 National Guard troops on duty monitoring the dikes throughout the state and the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is returning to standby operations. For the majority of Minnesota, the Red River and Minnesota River have crested and the levels are on their way down. A Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) request is expected after the counties and the state have completed their flood damage assessments.

Wisconsin did not receive all of the rainfall that was initially predicted and the National Weather Service (NWS) has lowered some earlier river crest values for the tributaries. The Governor declared a State of Emergency for Buffalo, Crawford, La Crosse, Pepin, Pierce, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vernon, and Grant counties.

In Iowa, the Mississippi River is expected to finally crest at Keokuk in Lee County on Thursday April 26. National Guard and Americorps volunteers are focusing their efforts on sandbagging in Camanche (Clinton County) and Le Claire (Scott County) where levees are being threatened. The State requested PDAs for Allamakee, Clayton, Clinton, Des Moines, Dubuque, Jackson, Lee and Scott counties on April 22 for both Individual Assistance (IA) and Public Assistance (PA). The PDAs began yesterday. It is anticipated that the Governor will submit a request for a Presidential disaster declaration today.

Illinois is in a flood fighting stage. The State EOC is fully activated with a Forward Command Post established at Rock Island. The Governor declared a State of Emergency for Adams, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties. A PDA request is expected once floodwaters have receded and the state has completed their flood damage assessments.

Down river in Missouri, the Mississippi is above flood stage at most points along the Missouri/Illinois border. The river crest is expected to move through the state beginning the middle of this week and running into early next week. Moderate flooding is anticipated at most points and flood control projects are expected to contain the floodwaters. Major flooding is predicted for Hannibal. No critical situations are reported at this time. No state response activities are reported at this time.

For more information, visit FEMA's web site at www.fema.gov.

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