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Quad-City region sets new rainfall record Saturday

Quad-City region sets new rainfall record Saturday

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A Davenport Public Works employee watches as water drains from the north side, or westbound lanes, of River Drive underneath the railroad bridge just west of South Howell Street on Saturday. Debris had clogged part of the drainage system which caused the westbound lanes under the bridge to flood. The water quickly drained away after public works crews found the clog and freed the debris. 

Record rainfall fell Saturday across the Quad-City region as a storm system moved from Missouri over eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

The Rock River at Moline could reach or exceed its flood stage of 12 feet by Tuesday.

Meteorologist David Sheets of the National Weather Service, Davenport, said that by 7:13 p.m. Saturday, 2.27 inches of rain had fallen at the Quad-Cities International Airport in Moline. That broke the old record for April 10, which was 1.65 inches set in 1995. More rain was expected to fall Saturday night, so the record is expected to be higher by the time the storm system moves out of the area.

Sheets said that by 7:13 p.m. rainfall totaled 1.84 inches at the Davenport Municipal Airport, which is near the National Weather Service, Davenport.

“This was a very tight winter-type storm except instead of having snow we’re having rain,” Sheets said. Coming up from Missouri, it affected mostly central and eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

Areas where the rain is badly needed — northern Iowa, where it is abnormally dry, to western Iowa, where areas are experiencing moderate to severe drought — got nothing from this system, he said.

Sheets said that overnight Saturday into Sunday, another half-inch to an inch of rain could fall.

The rainfall is affecting the smaller rivers in the area.

The Rock River at Moline stood at 10.49 feet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The river at that time was forecast to rise to just shy of its 12-foot flood stage, 11.8 feet, by 7 a.m. Tuesday. For the Rock, 11 feet is action stage.

However, Sheets said it is likely the Rock will reach or exceed flood stage.

The North Central River Forecast Center in Chanhassen, Minnesota, is expected to revise the forecast for the Rock that will indicated the record rainfall.

The Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 15, Rock Island, stood at 10.61 feet as of 6:30 p.m. Saturday. At that time the Mississippi was forecast to rise to 11.3 feet by 1 a.m. Wednesday. That forecast, too, could be revised up, Sheets said, but it is highly unlikely the Mississippi will reach its 13-foot action stage, let alone its 15-foot flood stage.

Sheets said the rain that fell was from a localized system and did not affect areas very far north of the Quad-Cities.

For Sunday, rain is expected to continue through noon. Sheets said there could be some sunshine later in the day. The high temperature is expected to reach 58 degrees with an overnight low into Monday of 42.

Monday’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and breezy with a high of 58 degrees and an overnight low into Tuesday of 38 degree.


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