ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- History is made as residents of the Quad Cities continue tirelessly fighting the Mighty Mississippi River. The river level rose dramatically over the past few days after more than two and a half inches of rain fell in the region on Monday, followed by more than an inch on Tuesday.
This morning, close to an inch of rain fell on the river basin, officially pushing the level of the Mississippi River over the previous all-time high. That was set on July 9, 1993 during the "Great Flood of 1993" when much of the Mississippi River was flooded from Minnesota, all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico due to heavy rainfall. On that date, the official height of the flood gauge at Rock Island achieved 22.63 feet.
As of 12:20 p.m. today, the river went over that level and is currently at 22.64 feet. That's the reading from the official observation site at the Rock Island Arsenal. According to StormTrack 8 Meteorologist Eric Sorensen, it remains to be seen whether it will go any higher. "We had a lot of rain overnight which could nudge this up a little more, but it shouldn't be much. We should be thankful for a few dry days to get the water to go down a foot or two before more rain moves in next week."
Eric says that the present flooding is different than that of the "Great Flood of '93" because much of what's flowing through the Quad Cities is a product of record snowfall in Minnesota and Wisconsin during the Winter months, combined with intense Spring rainfall over Eastern Iowa and Northern Illinois.
Before the current flood is certified, the National Weather Service will go through a certification process, which could take some time. Records will be considered "preliminary" until that is completed.