Q.  There has been a lot of coverage lately about spring flooding. I was born in 1969 and I'm told there was a bad flood on the Mississippi River the year I was born. Can you tell me more about it? -- Reader

A. The Mississippi River in the Quad-Cities crested at 19.3 feet on Saturday, April 26, 1969, the National Weather Service said.

"She Rides Crest On Pins, Needles," was the headline on that date in an article published on the front page of the Times-Democrat, a predecessor of the Quad-City Times. "High water is nothing new on Davenport's South Concord. As sure as there is a river, it floods there when high water comes," wrote Tom Kuncl, Times-Democrat reporter.

Mrs. Hugo Schmidt, 3482 S. Concord St., described the flood as a "pretty good time to catch up on your sewing."

A front-page photograph by Max Winter, Times-Democrat photographer, captured a scene from the crest of the 1969 flood. The caption under the photo reads, "The mailman hasn't been on South Concord Street in Davenport for a few days, and it will be some time before the mail starts coming through again. But high water is being taken in stride by Hugo Schmidt, 3842 S. Concord St., and a dozen of her neighbors who are riding out the flood in their homes. Says Mrs. Schmidt, "It's a good time to catch up on my sewing."

Kuncl wrote, "An obliging neighbor delivers mail to the Schmidts and also brings them their evening Times-Democrat which is picked up at the nearby store."

Power and telephones were still operating on South Concord Street on April 26, 1969. So, residents of the area were not cut off from the outside world. "It was a lot worse in 1965," Mrs. Schmidt recalled. "We had the only telephone so people were over at our house all the time. But that was fine, it made the flood a lot less lonely," she added.

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"Crest Is Here But So Are High Winds," another headline read on page 3.

According to the article a crest-swollen Mississippi River, made even more menacing by high gusting winds, is testing miles of new earthen dikes in Iowa and Illinois looking for weak spots and a chance to go wild again."

A statement issued by the National Weather Service for increased vigilance along all new dike areas because of rough weather and high winds were expected to sweep the area on April 26.

Max Winter, Times-Democrat photographer, also captured scenes of the 1969 flood in Muscatine, Iowa. The caption on page 1 reads, "Operator, I'd like to report a flood," says Leonard Goodwin of Muscatine, standing in a flood engulfed telephone booth of the Muscatine waterfront. The phone wasn't really working, but Goodwin demonstrated how high the Mississippi had reached."

Another photo by Winter on page 3 of Muscatine's levee park read, "Nearby, water covered a portion of the Rock Island Railroad tracks and threatened to close the line, although Mississippi Drive remained dry at Muscatine."

To read more about the flood of 1969 crest and view photographs from the flood, visit qctimes.com/askthetimes    


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