ALTON — Mayor Brant Walker is alerting downtown businesses to prepare for a historic flood.
The Mississippi at Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton is forecast to crest at 38.9 feet at midnight Dec. 31. By comparison, the record stage on Aug. 1, 1993, was 42.72 feet. The stage on Monday morning was 29.9 feet, about 8 feet above flood stage.
Text of Walker letter
Dear Business Owner:
The City of Alton is experiencing historic flooding levels that have not been seen locally for over twenty years. The National Weather Service is predicting that the water level will reach an elevation of 434.38 ft., 38.9 ft. above flood stage on Dec. 30, 2015. This predicted level is 2 feet higher than the water level in 1973. The 1973 water line is on the Ardent Mills flour mill to use as a point of reference.
We want you to know that we have implemented our flood plan and are taking precautionary measures to keep the downtown business district open during this natural disaster.
We are asking for your cooperation during this difficult time by removing any additional stock, equipment or belongings out of your basements. We believe that even with our best efforts of sandbagging and pumping, it will be impossible to keep the water out of the basements in the downtown business district.
We have prepared a flood preparation checklist we hope you will find useful.
We know that you could have located your business anywhere and we thank you for your commitment to the city of Alton.
Please work with us in showing the Metro East how resilient the city of Alton’s citizens are.