Officials are warning residents of Davenport that the water level could surpass the 22.63 foot record crest in 1993. Sandbaggers and workers are rushing to secure the area in anticipation of a historic flood. Residents of Davenport were also warned of the possibility of being evacuated from their homes.
Davenport borders on the Mississippi river. Officials state the water level could surpass that of the record flood in 1993 which closed downtown businesses and streets for weeks. Davenport’s emergency strategy plans for crests of 24 feet, but the National Weather Service forecast indicates a 50% chance of waters over 26 feet.
Davenport, the largest metropolitan area along the upper Mississippi, does not have a flood wall. Rejection of constructing the wall was due largely to the cost. Protecting Davenport’s connection to the Mississippi River was also a reason for rejecting the safety measure.
Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba stated that; “If it goes to 24 or 26 feet, that’s going to be quite a challenge for the city. I’m not prepared to tell you what would happen. We’ve never had the potential for a 25 or 26 foot flood, so I am concerned.
Moline, Illinois is also preparing for the potential flood. Moline,Island, Davenport and Bettendorf make up the Quad Cities in the region.
Residents have volunteered to fill sandbags to protect buildings in the downtown area. Workers outside Modern woodmen Park, a city-owned stadium, home to the Quad Cities Rive Bandits were installing an expanded flood protection system to protect the minor league baseball team’s ball park.
City engineers were reviewing all of the cities critical locations in hopes of developing plans to fight the flood using pumps, earth berms, HESCO barriers, and sandbags. All city employees have been restricted from vacation leave until late May in case they are needed.