All five of Hannibal’s flood gates are about to be removed - again. John Hark, the city’s emergency management director, announced Tuesday afternoon that the gates will be taken out beginning at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 10.
The gates have been in place since June 28 after heavy rain in Iowa had the National Weather Service forecasting a foot-a-day rise in the river, with an anticipated crest of 22.7 feet.
As it turned out the crest was about 1 foot lower than expected, reaching 21.88 feet on July 4.
The river is now in full retreat. As of Tuesday afternoon the river stood at 19.2 feet. That trend is expected to continue into next week.
When a crest prediction of 20.5 feet or more is forecast, the floodgates on Hill and Center streets must be installed. The remaining three gates - two on Broadway and one on South Main - are placed when the crest is forecast at 21.5 or more.
In the past two months, Hannibal has seen five crests of over 21 feet. In addition to the July 4 crest, other 21-foot and higher crests were 21.02 (May 5), 22.15 (June 7), 25.53 (June 1) and 27.63 (April 21).
The flood gates are coming out 11 days after they were installed. Previously, they were out for 10 days before being put in on June 28. The quickest turnaround this year was in late May, when only six days after they were removed the gates had to be put in place.