Davenport's Flood Task Force holds first meeting, discusses what should be protected from flooding

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The city of Davenport is looking to the future and discussing flood protection two and a half months after a temporary Hesco Barrier broke in downtown Davenport. On Tuesday, the newly announced Flood Task Force held its first meeting.

It was standing room only as several community members joined task force members who discussed what the city should protect during a flood.

"This was a unique flood,” Shonnie Holmes, a task force member said. :We learned a lot.”

Holmes is one of 23 people who sits on the task force. They’re tasked with coming up with a long term solution to flooding in Davenport. The final conclusion of the task force will be given to city council for discussion.

"I believe there are enough resources and intelligence in this room that they will come up with a solution,” Holmes said.

Each person on the committee represents a different part of the community. The members include city council members, downtown business owners, the Chamber of Commerce, Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service. Holmes represents homeowners.

"I am not hoping,” Holmes said. “I am thinking they will come up with a smoother solution to deal with the higher floods."

The first meeting focused on what should be protected in the event of flooding. The task force broke into four groups of six and were asked to answer that question. Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch lead the conversation after task force members got a look at the current flood plan.

"The basic city plan, the flood plan, was one that resonated with them where, they said ‘yep, we have to keep the bridges open, we have to keep 2nd and 3rd street open and we got to keep the water treatment, the sewage treatment, etc., etc. open’," Klipsch said.

The task force will also look at what flood protection would look like and how it would be paid for before a plan would be presented to city council. Klipsch hopes that will happen before the end of the year.

"Ultimately Mother Nature gets the final say,” Klipsch said. “We are going to do the best we can to get better out and I know the residents and businesses will get better at it and together we can find some things to do."

The task force has two additional meetings set up. Because of the large number of people who attended, the mayor says it will be held at a bigger location.