Enchanted Island community embraces flooding as way of life

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Flooding of the Mississippi River is nothing new for people who live on enchanted island in davenport. For many of them, it's all part of what makes living on the island unique.

"It makes you feel free. It's alive. It gets in your soul. It really does," Eddie Nagel, who has owned a house on the island with his wife for eight years, said.

Enchanted island is on the Mississippi, just southwest of downtown Davenport. For the owners of the 20 homes on the island, flooding brings them together.

"When the floods come, everybody lets each other know where we're at and it's like a machine. Everybody helps each other get stuff up...there's a lot of great people here. There really is. I haven't had a community like this since I was a kid," Nagel said.

For most of the year, Nagel, his wife, and the rest of the island community use a bridge to get on and off the island, but when spring comes around, they have to go by boat.

"The first year we were here, we boated on and off the island for 83 days. And each year, there's actually been more floods," Nagel said.

While getting on and off the island during flooding can become quite the process, Nagel said it's now who he is.

"It’s part of me. If you were in my house, you would see. I got the windows, you're sitting there and the river is right there. When you look out it's there. So it's just beautiful here," he said.

Nagel expects the flooding to stay for several more weeks. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if they have to boat on and off close to Memorial Day. Despite this, he wouldn’t trade it for anything.

"But, it's alive. The river, it gives you solace. It gives you peace. And that's what keeps people here," he said.

The Mississippi River gauge at Rock Island reports the river over 20 feet, but the National Weather Service expects it to go down this week. For updated levels, click here