May 02, 2019

Flooding Swamps Davenport, Iowa

The temporary barriers in Davenport, Iowa, broke April 30

The temporary barriers in Davenport, Iowa, broke April 30
The temporary barriers in Davenport, Iowa, broke April 30.

On April 30, the temporary barriers lining the streets in Davenport, Iowa broke. The flooded Mississippi River water rushed into businesses and forced many residents to run to safety. According to The New York Times, about 30 people were rescued by firefighters when they did not make it out of the area in time.

Fire Chief Mike Carlston said crews used boats to rescue people from the downtown buildings. He also said the Red Cross opened a shelter at a school and had three people stay overnight.

“The whole city had a very frantic feel about it,” said Rebecca Nicke, a co-owner of Abernathy’s, a store located about half a block from the barrier, according to The New York Times. Nicke said she ran for her vehicle and drove toward a hill when she heard the water coming.

“You start shaking,” Nicke said to The New York Times. “And everything around me was like a blur.” She was able to save much of her inventory but does not expect to return to her building for weeks.

Officials in Davenport are keeping an eye on portions of the city’s infrastructure after the flood control system was breached. According to the Des Moines Register, the city public works director Nicole Gleason is monitoring creeks and has installed an additional flood barrier in the East Village.

"We are monitoring it minute by minute,” Gleason said at a Wednesday news conference, according to the Des Moines Register. "With the river level here just about cresting, we’re hopeful that we don’t have to."

The city began warning businesses and residents that the barrier could come down around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, an hour before the breach occurred, Gleason said.   

The flooding forces numerous road closures in DuPage and Will counties. According to The Daily Herald, roughly 4 in. of rain has fallen already in DuPage, with more to be expected. DuPage's facilities have a floodwater storage capacity of nearly 6 billion gal, reported the The Daily Herald.

For more information on DuPage flood control, click here.