This Year's Flood Broke at Least Three Records

May 14, 2019

On Sunday, the Mississippi River at in the Quad Cities fell below major flood stage after being at or above major flood stage for 51 days in a row. That sets a new record for the longest period of time the Mississippi has been at or higher than 18 feet on consecutive days.

Hydrologist, Jessica Brooks, from the Quad Cities National Weather Service
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Hydrologist Jessica Brooks, from the National Weather Service in Davenport, says that's nearly three weeks longer than the previous record of 31 days set in 2001.

This year, a snowy winter and lots of rain up north led to the new record.

Brooks says 51 days is also significantly longer than the record for the total number of days the Mississippi at Lock and Dam 15 was at or above flood stage, consecutive or not. During the Great Flood of 1993, that number was 37 and occurred from late April through July.

Brooks also says the river continues to fall slowly. And rain from an active weather pattern late this month and next could prolong it. She says the only way the Mississippi would drop to flood stage by Memorial Day would be for us not to get any rain at all. By the way, 51 days is seven weeks and two days. 

Of course the most notable record set this year (unofficially) is the river cresting at 22.7 feet, or 7.7 feet above flood stage, on May 2nd. The previous record of 22.63 feet was set on July 9th, 1993.