Flooding may afflict the Quad-Cities along the Mississippi and Rock Rivers by the weekend as the National Weather Service predicts more wet weather for the rest of the week.
Wednesday's rainfall of 1.25 inches set a record for the amount of rain on April 17, according to Tom Olsen of the NWS. With another 2 to 3 inches of rain expected for the area by Friday, the Quad-Cities region remains under a flash flood watch through this evening, he said.
As of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Rock River near Joslin was at 13.58 feet. It is expected to reach moderate flood levels of 14 feet by 6 p.m. Thursday and major flood levels of 16.5 feet by 1 a.m. Saturday.
The Rock River at Moline was at 12.21 feet at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and is expected to reach moderate flood levels of 13 feet by 1 p.m. Friday and major flood levels of 14 feet by 7 a.m. Saturday.
By Sunday afternoon, the Rock River is expected to crest at 17.6 feet near Joslin and 15.32 feet at Moline. Flood stage at both locations is 12 feet.
As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, the Mississippi River at Rock Island was at 15.24 feet; flood level is 15 feet. It is expected to reach moderate flood levels of 16 feet by 1 p.m. Thursday and major flood levels of 18 feet by 1 a.m. Sunday.
At LeClaire, the river was observed at 9.96 feet at 10 p.m. Wednesday; flood level there is 11 feet. It is expected to reach moderate flood levels of 12 feet by 7 p.m. Friday.
By Saturday night, the Mississippi River is expected to crest at 18.9 feet in Rock Island and 12.6 feet in LeClaire.
Colder air Friday may change showers into a mix of rain and snow, Mr. Olsen said. Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 51 degrees. But rain possibilities return Sunday, lasting through Wednesday.
"We're kind of in a wet pattern here," Mr. Olsen said.
The Davenport Public Works Department plans to start building a temporary flood barrier along River Drive at 9 a.m. Thursday. Traffic will be diverted around the closed portion of River Drive after morning rush hour. Businesses along River Drive will remain accessible.
On Wednesday, Davenport crews began installing flood barriers at Credit Island and Modern Woodman Park. Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba announced Wednesday the water levels may force the city to postpone construction of a 112-foot Ferris wheel at Modern Woodmen Park.
"Right now, to build it on the hill it will sit on, we can't break dirt where the flood's at," he said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also has closed the Cattail Slough recreation area south of Fulton because of high water. The area will remain closed until it has dried out sufficiently to allow safe motor vehicle access and any debris has been removed.
Today is Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: A new steamer, Keithsburg, now is at our levee taking on board the balance of her fixtures preparatory to assuming her position on the daily Rock Island and Keokuk line. 1889 -- 125 years ago: C.W. Hawes was appointed deputy county clerk by county clerk Donaldson. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. O.E. child, of Moline, was named president of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church Rock Island District of the Central Illinois conference. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Augustana College is making plans for a drive for funds to erect a field house and make football field improvements. 1964 -- 50 years ago: A expanded election coverage system featuring a 16-foot chalkboard showing up to the minute running totals, attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd to The Argus newsroom last night. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Balloons frame Rock Island attorney Stewart Winstein who was given a surprise party in the rotunda of the Rock Island County Courthouse on Thursday to honor his 50th year of practicing law.