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.

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