The HESCO barrier breached in Burlington this afternoon at 4th and Washington streets. Sending water from the Mississippi river into the downtown.
“I was here at noon and everything was fine and I wasn’t expecting this,”says business owner Mac Coffin. The surveillance footage is from outside of Frank Millard and Company’s business. They are located just a couple of feet of where the HESCO breached.
Employees tell me it took just 20 minutes for the entire street to be submerged in the water. “You saw it in the Quad Cities and it can happen but i think we were more prepared,” shares Coffin.
The city of Burlington had the HESCO up since March. They’ve also added the flood walls which officials say were successful. The head of public works, Nick McGregor,says they are still investigating what caused the barrier to fail, but he says he might have an idea. ” I would guess that the saturation is probably a lot of the reason it failed,” shares MacGregor.
Officials say crews responded quickly blocking any streets that have been affected. MacGregor says waters have equalized. Now it’s just a waiting game for the water to recede in order to start clean up.
Business owner Coffin says despite any kind of protection, mother nature is unpredictable. “I don’t think there is anyway to void it,” shares Coffin adding, “We can’t control what the river is going to do. We can’t control the weather.”
In the meantime, mayor Shane McCampbell says the city will do what it can to get businesses and homeowner back on their feet. “We’re going to speak to the people that are in a higher position than we are, our champions that fight for us. And we’re going to ask them to fight for our citizens.”
The city tells Local 4 News they are in the process of contacting state officials for help with clean-up and relief efforts — for businesses.