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Weather Service advises people to avoid swimming and boating in affected waters this week

National Weather Service graphic on Mississippi River flood stages.
Matt Wilson
Quad Cities National Weather Service
National Weather Service graphic on Mississippi River flood stages.

Hydrologist Matt Wilson at the Quad Cities National Weather Service branch says increased rainfall is raising the Mississippi River crest to 20 feet

"We're looking at another round of rainfall where we can see up to two to three and a half inches of rain right along the Mississippi from the Iowa/Minnesota line to the Iowa/Missouri line," Wilson said. "We're expecting these river forecasting crests to continue to rise."

Wilson says the crest time in the Quad Cities is late Saturday, July 6th, into early morning Sunday, with a height of 20 feet, if not more.

"It'll be 20 feet plus or minus a half foot," Wilson said. "With a lot of the rain that we're seeing over the next 24 hours/ five days, I do expect that plus half a foot to be more than 20 to 20.5 feet. If some of these rain storms overperform, it could even be a couple tenths of a foot higher."

According to Wilson, tonight's rain event is "precipitable water," meaning the percentage of water the atmosphere carries.

"The numbers we have today resemble a tropical storm remnant that makes its way up in the upper Midwest. There's a lot of moisture in the air, which can cause torrential downpours," Wilson said.

He says flash flooding is a particular concern. The weather service will monitor it tonight, starting around 5 p.m. and lasting overnight.

Wilson adds that the high levels of rain are causing debris to flow down the Mississippi, creating obstacles for commercial boating.

"Many of the locks and dams run by the corp of engineers up and down the Mississippi have closed as well, so if they're closing it to commercial traffic, it's definitely dangerous for recreational traffic," Wilson said.

Brady is a 2021 Augustana College graduate majoring in Multimedia Journalism-Mass Communication and Political Science. Over the last eight years, he has reported in central Illinois at various media outlets, including The Peoria Journal Star, WCBU Peoria Public Radio, Advanced Media Partners, and WGLT Bloomington-Normal's Public Media.