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.