Local rivers are on the rise after a full day of storms Wednesday. The Mississippi River in Davenport isn’t expected to crest until it reaches 18.9 feet on Saturday, nearly four feet higher than its current level.
Already, the river is creeping into Quad City streets and parks. Despite stormy skies, Joe Gauthier went for a walk Wednesday evening to check out the river levels near Davenport’s LeClaire Park.
“I live up on Third Street, so the question I asked up there was, ‘How far do the floods come up?’ They said, ‘Well, they haven’t come up here yet, so don’t worry about that.’ So I thought, alright, as long as I’m on Third or higher, I’ll be okay,” said Gauthier.
Starting after rush hour Thursday, River Drive in Davenport will be closed from Brady Street to Third Street, and detours will be in place. In LeClaire Park, the river’s waters are already lapping the sidewalk — bringing out the city’s curious and adventurous.
“That’s why I wanted to come down and see what it looks like, because I compare it to a couple years ago, when the whole park here was flooded,” said Greg Hughes.
On Credit Island, there’s no longer access for walks. Roads are closed, open only for Public Works crews and truckloads of sandbags. At Modern Woodmen, floodwall sections are going up, as well.
The precautions are old news for seasoned veterans.
“I mean, right now, it’s still early in the Spring. So, if it’s this high already, we’ve got some work to do ahead of us, I think,” said Hughes.
But for out-of-town visitors like Tony Davenport and Jesse Johnson, even flood waters can be a beautiful and unusual sight.
“I think it’s wonderful. I don’t want it to cause damage or anything, but it’s pretty cool. This is a beautiful river,” Davenport said.