Davenport Flooded by Mississippi River, Tornadoes Rock Midwest

The Mississippi River broke through a barrier and water rushed into downtown Davenport, Iowa, flooding offices and shops unexpectedly on Tuesday and remained flooded into Wednesday.  CNN reported that the flooding occurred when HESCO flood restraints holding back the bloated river suddenly broke, sending water rushing into the streets creating a lake in the midst of the downtown area, forcing first responders to evacuate people by boat.  According to CNN:

  • The Mississippi River at Davenport was forecast to crest late yesterday at 22.4 feet — just below the record of 22.63 feet set in July 1993, which is well above major flood stage, which is at 18 feet.
  • One resident described it as “like a horror movie” according to the Demoines Register, with residents fleeing the wall of water that rushed into their stores and restaurants.

Meanwhile, 25 tornadoes were reported across 5 states on Tuesday, leaving major destruction in their wake inTexas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. According to Accuweather, the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF1 tornado touched down in Denton, Texas, with winds up to 90 mph.  And there were numerous reports of large hail such as in Ozona, Texas, where hailstones larger than baseball size (2.75 inches) rained down.  Luckily there were no fatalities associated with any of these storms, but more stormy weather was forecast.

Why This Matters:  The City of Davenports had warned that flooding was possible, and residents were prepared but had little advance warning when the break occurred.  Tornado season has been active this year.  For example, the South has already seen several rounds of severe weather including a record-tying outbreak of 44 tornadoes in Mississippi on April 18.  These are the sorts of severe storms for which we must be increasingly prepared.  The flooding in the midwest along the major rivers is expected to continue for several more weeks.  More disaster funds will be needed.  

To Go Deeper:  Watch incredible drone footage of one of the tornadoes here.

Up Next

Farmers in Northern Plains Brace For Drought

Farmers in Northern Plains Brace For Drought

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As summer approaches, the Northern Plains of the United States and the Canadian Prairies, which are the world’s key growing regions for canola and spring wheat, are experiencing a record-breaking drought.  Now, farmers fear that these parched fields won’t yield enough crop to satisfy unusually high demand. This fear […]

Continue Reading 460 words
Tropical Cyclone Seroja Hits Indonesia

Tropical Cyclone Seroja Hits Indonesia

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Rescue efforts are underway across several islands in eastern Indonesia and East Timor after Tropical Cyclone Seroja struck the region last week. The storm’s heavy rains and powerful winds led to flash flooding and landslides, damaging homes and roads. At least 8,424 people have been displaced by the storm, […]

Continue Reading 369 words

Interview of the Week: Dr. Carolyn Kousky

We recently wrote that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a new pricing structure for its federal flood insurance program in an effort to improve the equitability of flood insurance. Disaster insurance and preparedness is a topic that is becoming an all too familiar topic as extreme weather events cause billions of dollars in […]

Continue Reading 213 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.