Dubuque leader keep watchful eye on weather - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque leader keep watchful eye on weather

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DUBUQUE (KWWL)- To find the most severe flooding in Dubuque's history, you'd have to go back to 1965, when flood waters inundated the port of Dubuque.

"It was pretty ugly," said Public Works Director Don Vogt.

The latest predictions from the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities call for a 50 percent chance of seeing a spring flood surpassing that record.

"There's a lot of snow up north that has yet to melt.  Some of the things that could contribute to higher levels would be a rapid warm up which would melt off the snow," said Tom Philip with the National Weather Service.

In 2011, a major flood would likely bring with it only a minor impact.  That's because a six and a half mile long, thirty foot high flood wall has since been built that protects Dubuque from waters more than three feet above 1965's mark.

"Our preparations whether they predict 27 feet, 25, or 23 are all really the same," Vogt said.

City officials are putting plans in place just in case the river does reach a level over thirty feet, something the latest projections give only a ten percent chance of happening.

"We're already making plans and we're already scheduling meetings to discuss worst case scenarios," Vogt said.

Officials will keep a close eye on the weather up north in the coming weeks, hoping for a slow melt and a relative dry spell to lighten any concern of flooding.

"We'll be real interested in how the weather goes for the next week or two.  I think that will be a real determining factor," Vogt said.

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