Davenport city officials discuss the cost of putting in a floodwall

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Many in Quad Cities may ask "Why doesn't Davenport just get a floodwall?" Officials with the city of Davenport Tuesday discussed the idea and said it comes down to if the city could afford it.

Officials said the cost of a flood wall in 2014 was around $174 million.

"The average cost of implementing the city's flood plan generally doesn't exceed $250,000 in any given year, depending on the frequency and height of flooding that occurs," City of Davenport's Communications Specialist Kurt Allemeier said in a release. "In other words, the cost of installing floodwalls would equate to implementing the city's flood plan nearly 700 times."

Allemeier says the city recognizes the costs had been higher to fight floods, however, due to efficiencies implemented in flood fighting over time, the cost is very minor compared to the floodwall.

Officials say some of the strategies include:

• Letting greenspace and recreational path flood. Generally, the city’s costs are only associated with debris removal and turf restoration.
• Flood mitigation at Credit Island. The facility is allowed to flood. Costs following a flood are generally limited to debris removal and cleaning of the lodge. In this particular year, with crests of 18+ FT predicted, a simple measure of boarding the windows up at the lodge was required to prevent flood debris from breaking the windows.
• The HESCO flood barrier has been critical in reducing staff response time in protecting city assets and maintaining travel on 2nd St. What may have taken one or more weeks to protect assets in the past, now takes less than 24 to 36 hours.
• The walls at Modern Woodmen Park have been another critical addition to the city’s flood plan, further reducing staff time to protect the facility.

Officials also add that there is no guarantee any flood fighting measure, including floodwalls, would not fail.