Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch praises flood response

4 The Record

It is a time to reassess in Davenport. An unprecedented flood has a way of doing that.

It was 19 days ago when 4 The Record aired on Sunday.

We watched on the last day of April as the HESCO barriers set up on River Drive near Pershing Avenue gave way and sent water rushing into downtown Davenport.

This is timelapse video recorded from the surveillance camera at roam’s restaurant and bar.

People inside the building hurried to get out of the way.

Feet of water surrounded the building in a matter of minutes.

About three square blocks of downtown Davenport got hit the hardest.

Firefighters brought in small boats to get the people who live and work there to dry ground.

Several cars got trapped in the water.

Businesses inundated with water had equipment damaged or destroyed.

The initial response can only be considered a success with nobody seriously hurt in any of it.

One of the more unusual things we saw leading up to this as the water kept rising happened on the railroad.

Canadian Pacific railroad brought in crews to lay down gravel and physically raise the railroad tracks.

That made it possible for trains to keep moving above the water.

Rail traffic came to a halt after the water breached the barriers.    

More recently it’s been a story of recovery and cleanup.

Business owners got to the hard work of taking on the sludge and salvaging whatever possible.

Some expect to be closed for months to get their property in workable condition.

The downtown Davenport partnership estimates this could translate into $30 million in lost revenue for businesses and earnings for employees for the next year.

That’s $2.5 million a month.

That doesn’t take into account damage to buildings and property.

Scott County was recently included in the list of disaster areas declared by President Trump eligible for federal relief.

Don’t forget we’ve hardly seen the River Bandits play at home this year because of all the water.

We’ve been waiting for the conditions to noticeably improve in davenport and bettendorf before addressing the larger issues the flooding presents.

That time has come as Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch joined 4 the Record for a conversation.

On the ground

Klipsch was on the ground downtown not long after the breach happened.

Klipsch described what it was like, what his evaluation of where things are now from a recovery standpoint and what will happen with the railroad.

Ordinances, health, streets

The Davenport City Council is moving quickly to adopt ordinances related to flooding to expand the purchasing power for the necessary equipment in case something like this happens again.

Klipsch addressed if this is enough of a response and what equipment they are talking about with this.

He also talked about how active the health department is in this, and what concerns there are about the stability of the streets and other infrastructure after being underwater for so long.

Watch the full interview in the video above.

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