Rock River projected to break record flood crest… and then it wasn’t

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UPDATE: For a few hours, the Rock River was projected to break its all-time record flood crest in Moline this weekend

A Wednesday morning National Weather Service forecast said the river would crest at 16.7 feet Sunday, topping the record of 16.53 feet set on April 21, 2013.

This afternoon, that forecast was downgraded to 16.3, which would still be a major flood, but not a record.

But stay tuned. Rainfall could change the forecast again.


The Rock River is projected to break its all-time record flood crest in Moline this weekend, according to the latest National Weather Service forecast.

The river is expected to crest at 16.7 feet Sunday, topping the record of 16.53 feet on April 21, 2013.

The Mississippi River hit its record crest of 22.63 feet on July 9, 1993. As Andy McCray reported Tuesday, it’s possible that record could be broken this year as well. 

Historic Rock River crests
1. 16.53 feet on 4/21/2013
2. 16.38 feet on 3/06/2008
3. 16.15 feet on 4/26/1973
4. 15.79 feet on 6/7/2002
5. 15.70 feet on 5/20/1974
6. 15.40 feet on 7/26/2017
7. 15.31 feet on 2/24/1997
8. 15.25 feet on 5/31/1996
9. 15.20 feet on 2/24/1971
10. 15.10 feet on 1/20/2017 

Click here to watch Ashe Simpson’s special report on the Flood of 1993, 25 years later.

For the top 10 Mississippi River crests at Locks and Dam 15, click

To check current river levels, click

For the latest weather forecast, click


Historic flooding is possible in the Quad Cities next month.

Our flood season is about to go from bad to worse, and it could be one for the record books along the Mississippi River.

We’ve had above average rain every month since last May and our soil is saturated throughout the area.  Combine that with heavy snowpack to the North (which will soon be melting) and we’re looking at prime conditions for major flooding.   

Hydrologists with the National Weather Service are indicating a 25-50% chance that we could see the highest water level ever on the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities next month. 

That’s right, it could be worse than the 22.63′ crest on July 9th, 1993.

This chart shows the probabilities of reaching different levels on the river in the Quad Cities.We already have several rivers under flood warnings, and we’ll see all area rivers flood eventually this season.  The flooding on the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities looks to begin later this week.  Here’s the forecast from the NWS: As of Tuesday night the river stands at 9.05′ in the Quad Cities.  That’s below flood stage.  It doen’t stay this way long though, we’re looking at the first of several different crests this season coming up this weekend.  This time around we’ll rapidly climb to 17.5′ by Sunday and have our first moderate flood of the year. 

And this will be a long duration event.  We’ll likely see rivers in some form of flood stage from now until late April or May.  

According to the NWS, here’s a look at the top Mississippi River crests ever in the Quad Cities:

Historic Crests
(1) 22.63 ft on 07/09/1993
(2) 22.48 ft on 04/28/1965
(3) 22.33 ft on 04/25/2001
(4) 22.00 ft on 03/10/1868
(5) 21.49 ft on 06/16/2008
(6) 20.94 ft on 07/04/2014 
(7) 20.71 ft on 04/22/2011
(8) 19.66 ft on 04/20/1997
(9) 19.40 ft on 06/27/1892
(10) 19.30 ft on 04/26/1969

This will be an ongoing issue for the next few months and we’ll update the situation often, as we could be looking at the worst flood ever in the Quad Cities within the next 6 or 7 weeks.  

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