Deciding On Bringing Down The Flood Barriers - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Deciding On Bringing Down The Flood Barriers

Updated: April 29, 2013 10:33 PM CDT
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     The final section of Davenport's River Drive closed due to flooding will re-open Wednesday morning nearly two weeks after the river quickly swelled out of its banks. But it is still early in spring flood season so there's a lot crews consider before bringing down the barriers.
 
While many of us are eager to have the barricades on River Drive gone completely, when those come down is largely based on what the river is doing. Even though the water has been off most  of the road for days, there's potential plenty could happen in the coming weeks.
 
"We spent an extra four days beyond what we might have done previously watching the North, moving with caution, and due diligence," said Public Works Director Mike Clarke.
 
Along with watching the river models, Clarke has been in touch with the National Weather Service about the active forecast still happening upriver. It's one that includes rain, snow, and ice and he wanted to make sure all of that won't greatly impact our neck of the woods.
 
"There's nothing worse than having to reverse a decision really quick then having to spend extra resources and money trying to do something," said Clarke.
 
He's confident we won't see a double crest and is having crews remove the final pieces of flood protection this week. But Clarke says he's still keeping a watchful eye. To have the river reach back up he says the snow pack and ice up north would have to quickly melt. On top of that there would need to be inches of rain here and in all the contributing basins of the Mississippi all meeting at the same time. "All of those conditions would almost have to come together in a perfect storm scenario."
 
If that became a reality Clarke says crews would be well positioned to make decisions about what protection to put back in well ahead of time.
 
Figures aren't quite worked out yet, but Clarke estimates costs from extra man hours and materials for this flood are comparable to the previous several floods. Most of the cleanup though is being done within normal working hours.