Despite flooding, downtown Davenport remains open for business

Crews were busy finalizing flood preparations Tuesday, as the Mississippi filled downtown parks and closed River Drive.

As of 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the Mississippi River was at 18.73 feet in Davenport and was expected to crest at 20.8 feet by Friday, July 4, 2014.

Public Works Director Mike Clarke said Monday night’s intense rain caught even his department off guard.

“We were prepositioned, but we were still shocked like everybody else when we went from a 16-foot event to a 22-foot event, and we did that overnight,” said Clarke at a media briefing Tuesday.

Clarke said River Drive is now closed to traffic from Federal to Concord. Hesco barriers and pumps are in place along River Drive, and crews have placed sandbags around Union Station.

Crews also began to install the elevated walkway at Modern Woodmen Park to allow access to the stadium.

City leaders said their goal is to keep downtown Davenport open for business.

“If it’s sandbags, or Hescos, or plastic or whatever it takes, we’re going to do what is needed in order to keep these businesses open. That’s the bedrock of our community, that’s the tax base foundation, that’s what pays all of our bills, and by god, we’re gonna do that,” said Clarke.

Besides Rhythm City casino, all other Davenport businesses remained open Tuesday evening.

At Front Street Brewery, owner Jennie Ash said she would be open as well, after a quick clean-up from Monday night flooding.

“It was wet, quickly. It was react quickly… and well, there’s nothing you can do. The water’s coming in through the walls, through the ceilings,” said Ash. “Just too much rain, and nowhere to go.”

Still, Ash and Front Street Brewery are no strangers to the Mighty Mississippi and its frequent flooding.

“We plan to stay open, unless the water gets so high that the sewers shut down,” she said.

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