Davenport prepares residents for flood season
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The City of Davenport held its first of two flood plan community meetings to prepare residents ahead of potential flood risks this season.
In its most recent outlook, the National Weather Service forecasted an 80% chance of the Mississippi River reaching 18 feet and a 50% chance of it reaching 20 feet.
The river reached record flooding at 22.7 feet in May 2019.
Davenport Public Works officials, like Robbin Dunn the communications and preparedness manager, want property owners along river drive and beyond to be prepared if a flood does happen this season.
“The city is building a much more robust communication plan,” Dunn said. “So that we’re kind of ready on the fly.”
According to Dunn, the city hopes to hold flood preparedness meetings every few years for residents especially when forecasts might show a higher risk like this year.
During Monday’s meeting officials reminded property owners about the city’s role in flood mitigation.
For instance, the city can provide sandbags and clean up flood debris.
“People move, they forget,” Dunn said. “So just kind of to keep that in the back of people’s mind. ‘Hey, here’s how I prepare, there are things I can do. The city does have floodplain managers for us to reach out to to get information.’”
The city already has plans to reroute traffic depending on the river’s height.
Above 18 feet River Drive will close from Division Street to Federal Street.
“We do put the flood barriers up on river drive,” Dunn said. “That is to kind of protect that second street access, and then access to the Arsenal Bridge.”
A handful of property owners attended on Monday.
Joe Griffen with Higher Heights Missionary Baptist Church said while they’re next to a creek, the meeting eased his mind since the church is located on Rockingham Road.
“While it’s a low area, it’s not as low as the riverfront,” Griffen said. “As far as I can tell, right now, we’re okay.”
The city recommends being prepared, but also buying flood insurance before it’s too late.
“All flood measures or mitigation ... have the potential to fail,” Dunn said. [Also know] how to recover... from something like that.”
The NWS will provide an updated flood outlook for the Quad Cities on Thursday. With the new information, Davenport will have a better picture of how to implement its plans.
A second community meeting will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Davenport City Hall.
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