Bootleg Hill Honey Meads reopens following HESCO breach in Davenport

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Bootleg Hill Honey Meads reopened on Friday after being flooded from the Mississippi River HESCO breach in Davenport on April 30.

After an extremely cold winter and remaining closed as the storefront was cleaned from the flooding, the business is excited to be open again.

"The winter was terrible as everyone knows. And then we just started coming back and the barrier broke," Rick Harris, owner of Bootleg Hill said.

The breach of the HESCO barrier just behind Bootleg Hill sent a damaging amount of water into the building.

"About four inches on this floor. But our whole basement was flooded. So really it was like twelve feet under there and four inches here," Harris said.

In order to start the cleaning process, the water on the main floor was pushed into the basement and then pumped out.

"We had to get the electrical, the plumbing, the heating. Get the cooler working. That took awhile. Then the other thing that really took awhile was the fire protection," Harris said.

Being closed for weeks was detrimental to his business financially and to his employees who were unable to work.

"The other thing it was hard on was our business stopped. So to have a business one day and then the next day to have it end, or interrupted, have zero income coming in is really difficult," Harris said.

Harris said he is still hopes the City of Davenport will step in to help his business and the other businesses impacted.

"So far we've got nothing, but we know that's changing. And we got a lot of volunteer help to help us but that only goes so far because you can't spend your volunteer help at the store,” Harris said.

Despite the lack of financial help so far, he remains optimistic for the future of his business.

"I'm thrilled to be reopened. I'm glad we're here. I think this is a great location. I'm absolutely certain it's going to work for us," he said.
While Harris said he’s excited he was open to reopen so quickly, he hopes the other affected businesses will be able to do the same too.

"If you take away the businesses from the heart of your downtown, what do you have left? You just have a shell. An empty shell of downtown," he said.