Historically speaking, we’re two weeks past due for a flood around here.
Most of our major Mississippi floods have crested in April,* but the 1993 Flood—the one that knocked the 1965 “Flood of the Century” off its pedestal**—was a late bloomer, waiting until July 9 to crest. Those who know about these things blamed the wettest June in 120 years.
Let’s take a look at that.
Among our resources are climatological data reports from the Environmental Data Service and the National Climatic Data Center. According to these reports, the state of Iowa had 13.21 inches of rain in June of 1993.
If you aren’t able to put your hand out of a Davenport window to check for yourself, it’s been a pretty damp summer this, year, too.
According to the Climatology Bureau of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, June gave northeast Iowa about 8.66 inches of rain—that’s almost 4 inches more that the average. And in July, the Quad-Cities saw 3.56 inches in the first ten days. That’s only half an inch less than the average for the month.
The Bureau reassured us that there was 20% more evaporation than usual last month because of the heat we’ve all been enjoying so much. But that lucky break seems to have ended its usefulness.
The Mississippi was at 11.6 feet Saturday at Lock and Dan 15—flood stage is at 15 feet. It’s possible that we might have to revise our ideas about when our flood season ends.
But rest assured, our city isn’t ignoring the signs.
Because those who do not learn from history are doomed to get their feet wet. Again.
*Though heavy rains on June 16, 1990 caused Duck Creek to flash flood, you couldn’t call that a ‘crest’. It was a devastating blitzkrieg—following by another, two weeks later.
**By 1.8”, which shows you how seriously we take our river measurements around here.
(posted by Sarah)