Davenport flooding could cost $30 million in revenue and lost wages for businesses

Published: May. 8, 2019 at 6:17 PM CDT
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Businesses impacted by flooding could be out $30 million in revenue and lost wages over the next year, according to the Downtown Davenport Partnership.

The Partnership’s Executive Director, Kyle Carter, said a “high-level assessment” using economic data including sales tax numbers were done to determine an estimate of lost revenue and wages for businesses from West Davenport to the Village. The estimate does not include building or property damage.

"That is being looked into on a building by building basis,” Carter said. “The city will be doing that, putting that together. That will just take time."

Carter said the estimate was required in order to qualify for federal disaster assistance. The damage estimate done by the Partnership was sent to the Scott County Emergency Management Office and has now been sent to FEMA for President Donald Trump to sign off on.

"We will certainly come back,” Carter said. “These businesses will slowly come back online.”

Several businesses have already started to come back. Crafted QC, Bad Boys, Fresh Deli, Antonellas II, Majors, and Salon Static all opened on Wednesday. Woodfire Grill is expected to open on Thursday and The Diner on Saturday. Front Street Taproom opened on Tuesday.

The estimate from the Partnership averages out to about $2.5 million dollars a month. Once accepted by FEMA, the agency will do a long-form cost analysis to determine a more accurate cost, which would include property damage. Flood damage is just the latest extreme weather event to hit Davenport businesses.

"You follow up winter with bridge construction and flooding and you have a lot of pain for business,” Carter said. "If you take that extra 10 minutes to come downtown, any of the downtowns, you can turn that number around."

Carter said despite the flood damage, other projects planned for downtown will continue.

There will be this short term, medium term, and long term and it just depends on how much each place was hit with water,” Carter said.

Carter expects a Presidential Disaster Declaration will happen in the next few weeks.