The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

April 27, 2013

HERALD'S OPINION: Flood project is shining example of foresight

It was born in the swirling blizzards of an abnormal severe winter across the northern plains; it was nurtured by a combination of climatic conditions which forced an early runoff of melting snow before the ground was sufficiently thawed to absorb moisture; it savagely matured at the mouths of the swollen Minnesota, St. Croix and Wisconsin rivers.

And before the Great Missisippi River Flood of 1965 died — its fury spent in the vast expanse of the Gulf of Mexico — it had left an awesome trail of heartbreak, suffering and property damage.”

It’s been almost 50 years since those words were written by former Clinton Herald Editor Everett Streit as he chronicled the Great Flood of 1965 in a booklet detailing the disaster that took Clinton to its knees that year.

In fact, it was 48 years ago today that Clintonians and residents across the river in Fulton, Ill., were bracing for those floodwaters. On April 27, 1965, the Mississippi River stage was recorded as 24.7 feet and it was believed that would be the crest.

But that actually didn’t happen until one day later, when the peak hit and officially was recorded as 24.85 feet.

The day that crest was reached, at least 850 Clinton homes were surrounded by water and 36 businesses and 16 industrial plants were out of operation. More than 50 square blocks of the Clinton north-end area were inundated and about 1,000 residents had been driven from their homes. In the south end of the city, more than 25 blocks were flooded.

In the end, estimates put the damage at $5.5 million.

It all led the Clinton City Council to make a formal request for institution of a flood control project. It could make a good case as the city had experienced other costly floods in 1951, 1952 and 1967. A temporary levee built in 1969 under the title “Operation Foresight” saved the city from extensive damage in 1969 and 1973.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Walter Williams mug Wage discrimination everywhere 'President Obama Vows Zero Tolerance on Gender Wage Gap," read one headline. Another read, "Women Still Earned 77 Cents On Men's Dollar In 2012." It's presumed that big, greedy corporations are responsible for what is seen as wage injustice. Before

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Community College provides good, affordable education The people of the Clinton area can be very proud of their outstanding educational services starting with pre-school through the 12th grade. In addition we have Clinton Community College, which provides two more years of education with preparation for

    April 24, 2014

  • Will Illinois school aid formula get a makeover? People in Illinois hear a lot about schools not getting enough funding from the state, but not much about an effort afoot in Springfield to develop a fairer way to distribute the money. Whether Senate Bill 16, the School Funding Reform Act, can achie

    April 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Race card season again? After years of mostly hedging any suggestion that racism has anything to do with President Barack Obama's ferocious opposition, there's a new racial etiquette in town. Top Democrats are slipping off the kid gloves. "To a significant extent, the Repub

    April 21, 2014

  • Report suggests a reasonable approach Illinois has long had the most units of government in the nation - 6,963 at last count. Do we need so many taxing districts to provide governmental services across the Land of Lincoln? Supporters and opponents of the status quo can both find somethin

    April 21, 2014

  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook