Past Flooding Won't Impact RAGBRAI In Burlington, Organizers Say

Jul 17, 2019

Organizers in the southeast Iowa community of Burlington don’t anticipate any flooding issues to impact the city’s RAGBRAI plans. That’s after the Mississippi swamped parts of the town's downtown earlier this year

After weeks of flood cleanup, Burlington is on track to welcome thousands of people next week during the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

Last month, the flooded Mississippi overpowered a temporary flood barrier and swept through some downtown buildings and roads.

But with river levels back down, the event will go on as planned, says Dustin Roth with the Greater Burlington Partnership.

“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 said. "The party, like I said, the party will be happening right there on the parking lot so everything there is going fantastic.”

Some 10,000 cyclists are expected to stay overnight in the town on Friday July 26th, the second to last day of the week-long, cross-state ride. While there are still some tasks on the to-do list, Roth says the past flooding won't slow the city down.

“There have been a few logistical things that it has affected," he said. "However, the day of, nothing will be have [sic] changed. So most riders will have no idea that about a month ago it was, oh, five, six feet under water.”

A National Weather Service forecast shows river levels in Burlington will likely be elevated next week, but aren’t expected to reach flood stage.