Suiting up to go home: A look at some Moline neighbors’ commute during flood season

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Major flooding along two major waterways in the Quad Cities area. 

Neighbors are bracing for an annual flood season but say it’s getting harder to keep up. 

The Rock River just reached major flood stage Thursday at about 14.3 feet.

It’s expected to crest at 16.3 feet this weekend.

Local 4/Fox 18’s Tahera Rahman spoke with neighbors in flood-prone areas along South Shore Drive. 

Brad Lager has been living there for eight years now.

“When the water gets up a little higher I’ll just boat out but we’re not to that point yet so I have no choice but to just walk out,” he says. 

Lager parks his car along South Shore Drive just before the Rock River swallows it up.

He then suits up in waterproof overalls, puts his belongings in a backpack and wades in.

He says the river walk home has become more frequent over the last few years. 

“My dad lived here for many years. He lived here eight years and I never once ever had to walk in or out to visit him or that. But since I’ve lived here just last year alone, five times it’s flooded,” Lager says.

About a dozen other neighbors echo the experience. 

One family has had property on South Shore since the 1940s. 

The owner says she’s had to break out the sandbags more over the past four years.

So far this year, neighbors have already marked one of the nastiest floods they’ve seen. 

“When it flooded and then it froze and we had ice on the road. That made a big difference but I still walked in and out. That was the worst it’s ever been was when it froze,” Lager says, recalling a February flood this year. 

Lager says he’s not giving up his “ocean-front” property, just yet. 

“It doesn’t bother me. I’ll continue to live here and go through this,” he says.

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