Bettendorf resident constructs his own flood-wall that takes 5 hours for assembly

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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - Bettendorf resident Ken Hoffman says the city takes good care of his community. They bring filled sandbags to any house and help in whatever way they can. Ken just feels sandbags create a mess, so he used his background in construction to create his own wall, which he credits with saving his house during the flood of 2019.
As you approach the Hoffman house by boat you'll notice a rubber tarped black flood wall. Their house sits near the Mississippi River and currently that river is on their driveway.
"You have to come by boat and this is the way we access our house, up and over the ladder until the water goes down till we can access the hosue again," say Ken Hoffman.
And the water has receded. A week ago, Ken says the water reached the bottom of the numbers on his mailbox. He says after the 2011 flood predictions he built this wall, and he's used it three times.
"There's a footing that goes around all the perimeter around the house, these posts are schedule 40 steel that slides into a sleeve and we just put tongue in groove into a rubber membrane and the rubber is actually under it and we just flop it over."
And when he doesn't need it? Hoffman says he can "take it all apart in five hours and put it on pallets and keep it in a sea container."
The initial build was labor intensive and "took a solid week to put the footing in and make the solid posts because it all had to be welded."
But assembly when a flood is predicted, with just four or five people "we can put it together in four or five hours," says Hoffman.
He says his main motive for building this wall was to avoid needing to have a sandbag wall around his entire home.
"They're a little harder to clean up, my biggest issue is that I got an irrigation system and when you bring wheelbarrows and everything and it tears up the yard. with this, I'll wait till its completely dry take it down and I won't have any damage to my yard at all," says Hoffman.
Ken says he's been in concrete and foundation work most of his life.
"I have several sump pits at the lowest points," and generators in case the power goes out.
"The materials would probably be less than $5,000 if you were going to hire someone to do this it would probably be 20 to 30 thousand, and you also see need a place to store it, you can keep it outside too," says Hoffman.
Ken says building this wall took help from his friends and members of the community. And that worrying about flooding is part of living on the river.