Originally Posted Online: March 15, 2013, 8:26 pm
Last Updated: March 16, 2013, 11:53 am

Weather service: Snow melt flooding likely

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By Kevin Smith, ksmith@qconline.com

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Photo: Gary Krambeck
Steve Price of Moline walks his dogs "Boston" and "Sugar" along Green Valley Park walk path near 60th street in Moline as he keeps an eye on the flood waters from the Rock River Friday March 15, 2013.
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Photo: Gary Krambeck
Drivers make their way through flood waters covering the 3800 block of 49th avenue in Moline Friday afternoon March 15, 2013.
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Photo: Gary Krambeck
Rich Bernard a Poplar Grove resident on 56th Avenue in Moline takes his canoe to get home along 60th street after flood waters from the Rock river closed the road to vehicle traffic Friday March 15, 2013.

More flooding is inevitable in the Quad-Cities even as water levels steadily decrease, according to Linda Engebretson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The Mississippi River likely will see flooding as snow continues to melt up north, she said. While most of the snow has melted upstream on the Rock River, drought conditions and the possibility of heavy rainfall also may cause future flooding this year, the meteorologist said.

Last year's drought led to minimal flooding, Ms. Engebretson said. But those conditions may contribute to increased water levels this year if dry ground is unable to absorb water as quickly as snow melts, she said.

Water levels along the Rock River were observed as high as 15.91 feet near Joslin and 13.66 feet near Moline on Thursday. Flood stage for both areas is 12 feet. The high water caused the Rock Island County Highway Department to close a portion of Barstow Road east of Interstate 80 on Tuesday.

Even with the Rock River now receding, Moline and Joslin remain under a flood warning until Sunday morning, Ms. Engebretson said.

At 6:30 p.m. Friday, the Rock River near Joslin was at 14.05 feet, more than two feet above the 12-foot flood stage, according to the NWS. At the same time, the Rock was at 13.14 feet near Moline where flood stage also is 12 feet.

The river is expected to fall below flood levels after noon on Sunday, according to the NWS. A mostly dry forecast next week will allow it to return to normal levels, Ms. Engebretson said.