The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


August 6, 2013

Meters' positions set to keep river stage readings positive

CLINTON — Living near the Mississippi River has its ups and downs, just like the river itself has those same highs and lows.

In an attempt to comprehend its ever-changing nature, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers utilizes lock and dam gauges to navigate those changes and make adjustments accordingly.

“When the locks were built 80 years ago, the Corps surveyed the river and set the gauges,” Lock and Dam 13 Lock Master John Mueller said. “We still use those same gauges today.”

The gauges Mueller referred to are what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses to measure river levels on a regular basis, during flooding and during drought seasons.

Contrary to belief, those gauges are not set from the river floor, but actually are set at a level known as zero datum.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ website, zero datum is a hydrological term that refers to a specific point at which all river measurements are taken.

For instance, when the river level reads 5.4 on the advanced hydrologic prediction scale, it is measuring 5 feet, 4 inches above zero datum, Mueller said.

Chief of Water Control with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jim Stiman said the datum points were set many years ago and it is unknown as to why those specific numbers were chosen.

“It’s kind of arbitrary for why they chose those datums,” Stiman said.

Stiman’s best guess is that the numbers were picked to avoid negative readings when measuring river levels, although that has happened in the past.

“The gauge at St. Louis, Missouri, read minus numbers last year during the drought, but it is a really rare event,” Stiman said.

The datums in the Rock Island District, which covers Lock 11 through Lock 22, range from 588.20 feet in Dubuque down to 446.10 feet in Saverton, Mo.

Text Only
  • Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (with VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014

  • Stewart McCaskill photo McCaskill settles into new role at shoe store CLINTON — An Oklahoma boy at heart, Stewart McCaskill is settling into Clinton and Brown’s Shoe Fit.The 35-year-old has worked with the Brown’s Shoe Fit company for seven years. His brother-in-law, who manages a Brown’s in Colorado, brought Stewart i

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darryl Hogue mugshot Hogue will lead River Bend schools FULTON, Ill. — Nearly eight months after opening the search, the River Bend School Board has found a replacement for the retiring district superintendent Robert “Chuck” Holliday.Darryl Hogue, principal of Morrison Junior High School, in Morrison, Ill

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-22-14 water 2 Rotary Club donation gets water to Haitians CLINTON — Nine Haitian communities now have the blessing of clean water due to the work of local Iowa Rotary clubs, including Clinton’s, and the charity Water for Life.Water for Life Directors Joy and Leon Miller have been drilling wells for years as

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-22-14 Emily Evans 7 seek pageant crown CLINTON — The time has come for Miss Clinton County Brandy Herrington to pass her crown on to the next lucky contestant and this year the competition is thick.When the event commences on Saturday at the DeWitt Central Performing Arts Center, seven yo

    July 22, 2014 7 Photos

  • Jhanson Calling America home CLINTON — Born in Russia, Natasha Jhanson now considers the United States her home.When the 41-year-old was born in Russia, the Soviet Union was still intact. When Natasha was 14, the area split into multiple countries. At that point, her family move

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-18-14 Party in the Park Party in the Park a big hit CAMANCHE — Nearly 300 people joined together Thursday to celebrate their community and all it has to offer to its residents.During the fourth annual Party in the Park, Camanche combined all their forces including city councilmen, business owners and

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Choir reunion spanning five decades CLINTON — Music helped Dan Ivory form long-lasting bonds. A Clinton High graduate in 1989, Ivory said being able to sing and play in the marching band was a rewarding experience for him, one he has sorely missed over the last 25 years.“Being in a cap

    July 14, 2014

Clinton Herald Photos

Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.