Davenport Flood Update
July 07, 2014
As the Mississippi River begins to recede, Davenport will begin to dis-mantle its flood protection. Hundreds of city workers spent a frantic five days last week putting up floodwalls and pumps, but taking everything down will last two weeks or more.
Public Works director Mike Clarke says that's because the river is dropping slowly - just about half a foot per day.
"Now that we have everything in protection, how do we get ourselves back out. A lot of that depends on where the river level is, so we do this whole thing in reverse. We know exactly what level we put stuff in, now we know what level we take stuff out. But it's easier because you can actually see it this time."
In the Quad Cities on Friday, the Mississippi reached its 6th highest crest ever, at 5.9 feet over flood stage (20.9). Late today it was at 4.9.
Clarke says about 20 to 25 people are monitoring the pumps and floodwalls each day, and about a dozen at night.
"We still have crews inside Modern Woodmen Park monitoring that 24/7. We have pump stations across the city we're still monitoring 24/7. We have people walking the berms on Black Hawk Creek in the Garden Addition 24/7. So we still have a pretty robust presence out here responding to the flood full-time."
For local drivers, he says detours will come down slowly, and in pieces, as the river slowly recedes. Parts of River Drive have already re-opened, and Mound Street in the Village of East Davenport should be clear soon. Clarke estimates the cost of Davenport's flood-fighting so far at about 300,000 dollars, and rising.
And he's not really worried about another flood this year. Upstream from the Quad Cities the Mississippi is falling, the long range weather forecast generally is for dry conditions, and in past years there've been very few floods later than July.
(photo-from Bechtel Park at 2nd and Iowa streets, looking at Goverment Bridge with a submerged River Drive in between)