Marquette residents prepare for a rising river - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Marquette residents prepare for a rising river

MARQUETTE (KWWL) -- Marquette and McGregor are watching river levels closely. 

If you live along the river, you are probably used to flooding, but after the army corps of engineers predicted record flooding three weeks ago, officials in Clayton County took action.  The good news is the forecast isn't as high as expected, but there is a catch.

Just ask Deb Fidler who opened "Sweet Nothings" in downtown Marquette last May.

"I have just been packing things as fast as I can. My shop won't take long, but I've got lots of help," Fidler said. ''I'm just planning on moving everything out and then if the water comes, I'm planning on cleaning it up."

Fidler's store is literally across the street from the Mississippi River. She lives in an apartment next door.

Clayton County Emergency Manager Joel Biggs says the Army Corps of Engineers originally forecasted the river as high as 27 feet.

"It's just something we prepare for, take it if you're gonna live along the river, you're gonna have to be ready for it," Mayor Norma Mason said.

Tuesday night, officials held a meeting with the community and presented the latest forecast which has the river reaching anywhere from 17-21 feet by next week.

''Which will probably make things safe for the first floor businesses here, but they said plan for the worst, and hope for the best, so that's what I'm kinda doing right now," Fidler said.

Now, Fidler is taking action, and county officials are urging everyone else to do the same.

''Are there furnaces moved up, are they prepared to get things out of their basement, do they have sump pumps, are they prepared to sandbag their residence," Mason said.

But if the river rises to 22 feet, officials are worried about how they will control flooding.

The Army Corps of Engineers has been working closely with several cities along the Mississippi. They are hoping the water doesn't get higher than 21 feet.

In the last few days volunteers have filled 30,000 sandbags. They will put them along problem spots near the Mississippi River on Wednesday.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires
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