Thousands of bicycle riders will be pedaling into Burlington on Friday and community leaders say they’ll be ready, despite intense flooding there just a few weeks ago.
The Mississippi River town is an overnight host for RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. Dustin Roth, with the Greater Burlington Partnership, says the downtown has recovered from the flooding and is prepared.
“There have been a few logistical things that it has affected,” Roth says. “However, the day of, nothing will have changed, so most riders will have no idea that about a month ago it was, oh, five, six feet underwater.”
Last month, the flooded Mississippi overpowered a temporary flood barrier in Burlington and swept through some downtown buildings and roads. It’s taken weeks of clean-up work, but Roth says they’re good to go for a series of concerts Friday on the riverfront.
“The water is down. We’re taking down our permanent flood wall, or they will be taking that down so riders can have a view of the river,” he says. “The party will be happening right there on the parking lot so everything there is going fantastic.”
According to a National Weather Service forecast, river levels in Burlington will likely be elevated this week but not at flood stage.
(Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)