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Ice jam causes Rock River to hit floodstage


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Posted Online: Jan. 05, 2010, 7:50 pm
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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com
An ice jam on the Rock River that sent waters shooting past flood stage inMoline early Tuesday could be just be the first of the winter.



"It could easily happen again," National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Legro said Tuesday.

The Rock began climbing steeply around 6:30 p.m. Monday and reached flood stage —12 feet — around 2 a.m. Tuesday, according to the NWS. The spike was caused by an ice jam near the North Shore Inn in Moline and sent water into several yards and the parking lot of the Inn, where it was still visible as of about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Residents along Moline's North Shore Drive reported that authorities came to their homes in the early hours of Tuesday, warning they should be ready to evacuate if the river continued its rise.

The river peaked at about 12.78 feet at 4 a.m., then began falling nearly as sharply as it rose, according to the NSW.

It was at 12.1 feet as of 10:21 a.m., Mr. Legro said.

Mr. Legro said the forecast Tuesday indicated that the temperature could stay cold enough for the river's surface to freeze solidly some time this week. He said a solidly frozen surface should alleviate the dangers of ice-jam flooding.

Moline Fire Department Battalion Chief Todd Allen said Tuesday afternoon that area authorities, including local public safety and public works agencies, were preparing to formulate a response plan in case there is additional flooding.

The Rock flooded several times last winter because of ice jams, including one in early March that reached a record 16.38 feet.

Joseph Senatra lives on North Shore Drive and said he woke early Tuesday morning and saw water lapping at a tree in his backyard.

He has lived near the river for over five decades and knows it well enough to know that when it reaches that tree, it's just above the Rock's flood stage.

Mr. Senatra said the higher waters caused by this ice jam is nothing compared to other flooding he has seen.

But he was not taking chances. He was stacking his possessions on make-shift tables made of saw horses and closet doors, just in case the river jams again.

"I'm going to leave this stuff up until the spring," he said.




















 



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  Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river.
1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.




(More History)