Flood cleanup

Matt Cooper, of the City of Dubuque, cleans an area of the American Trust River’s Edge Plaza on Wednesday after the receding Mississippi River left mud and debris.

The Mississippi River at Dubuque’s railroad bridge is expected to soon dip below its flood stage for the first time in nearly three months.

Forecasters predict the river will drop below its 17-foot flood stage tonight — after a record 85 days above that mark. It climbed into flood stage on March 20.

The previous record for continuous days above flood stage was a 34-day stretch in 2011, according to the National Weather Service.

The river crested above 20 feet three times this spring — at 22.65 feet on April 6, at 23.18 feet on April 27 and at 20.75 on May 31.

The first day above flood stage — March 20 — was so long ago that:

  • Congress had yet to receive a redacted version of the Mueller report. (It was released on April 18.)
  • Spring break hadn’t yet arrived for Dubuque Community Schools and Holy Family Catholic Schools students. (It started on March 25.)
  • There were only 16 Democratic presidential candidates. (That total has since swelled to 24.)
  • Major League Baseball opening day was still eight days away for all but the Mariners and the Athletics (who were in the process of opening the season in Japan).
  • Dubuque’s municipal swimming pools remained 66 days away from opening. (They opened on May 25).
  • Influenza concerns prompted three local hospitals to restrict visitation.
  • Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, were still 48 days from welcoming the royal baby. (The healthy baby boy arrived on May 6.)
  • The Dubuque Fighting Saints traveled to Madison for a regular season USHL game that night.
  • “Captain Marvel” was the top movie at the box office.
  • Dubuque was still 38 days away from receiving a 5-inch snowfall. (That came on April 27.)
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