Flooding is a common spring sight in Fort Madison. 1993, 2008 and 2019 are just a few of the years that come to mind when recalling the images of River View park with flood waters creeping towards the rail road tracks.
Flooding has been a very real concern with the Marina project as well. Residents want to know that the investment the City has made will be an investment that lasts. Current low water conditions provide what many are calling a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to complete a project of this complexity along the Mississippi River.
The Marina project has been focused around models. The Army Corp of Engineers as well as the project engineers, Klingner & Associates PC, have a wealth of experience in dealing with the mighty Mississippi and flood mitigation. Before the project began studies were completed to determine the needed height of the Jetty to prevent unnecessary silting in the marina. A “No Rise” certificate was required from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to show FEMA that the raising of the jetty and River View Park would not create flood impacts on neighbors up and down stream. In fact, a great many permitting hurdles have been overcome. Also, the Jetty has been designed and built up to just above the flood of record (i.e. just over the 500 year flood) to significantly reduce silting, and when completed it will have a walking path for improved access to the mighty Mississippi River to allow family fun with fishing and sight seeing opportunities.
The main parking lot and adjacent park area will be raised to reduce the occurrence of flooding approximately 48”. This small rise will prevent the worst flooding, but nothing will eliminate every instance. The mighty Mississippi has many benefits, and that is why so many choose to love Fort Madison.
The Fort Madison Marina project will prove to be a great attraction for natives and visitors alike to enjoy the benefits of living next to the Mississippi River. The success of this marina project will be a great testament to the foresight and determination of the Mayor, City Council, community stakeholders, and other partners. Before long we will all be able to look upon the improvements with great pride as the memory of the current construction phase fades.