Sandbagging underway on River Drive

Posted on: 8:48 pm, April 18, 2013, by , updated on: 02:04pm, April 19, 2013

Crews began installing giant sandbags, or Hesco barriers, on River Drive in Davenport Thursday evening. The 4-foot tall, 4-foot wide nylon, woven barriers are filled with sand and placed in a line from Iowa Street to Pershing.

“In a couple of locations, you’ll see a “T,” where we put a couple of Hescos behind that line to give it some back-pressure capability, so as that water’s pushing up against that front line, we’ve got some backstopping weight,” said Public Works Director Mike Clarke.

Work was also underway Thursday evening at Davenport’s Union station, where crews built a two-foot wall of traditional sandbags to keep flood waters at bay.

“It’s labor-intensive, not only putting up the sandbags, but filling them,” said project manager Sam Giganti.

Wednesday evening, the Mississippi River was just lapping the edge of the sidewalk in LeClaire Park. By Thursday, flood waters had spilled into the park, covering park benches and walkways — and bringing residents out for a better view.

“We’re pretty much just enjoying the water, honestly. It’s so close, it’s actually kind of relaxing,” said Willie McNeal.

Lance Smith brought his son Max for a closer look at the rising Mississippi.

“It’s pretty interesting. You don’t really expect it to be this high, this quick,” said Smith.

The Mississippi River isn’t expected to crest until Saturday. Work on the River Drive Hesco barriers was expected to continue through the night Thursday and into Friday. Davenport Public Works has warned that River Drive will become almost entirely closed as flooding continues.