Davenport flood icons better situated to handle high water

DAVENPORT - As the Mississippi River continues a projected climb to nearly three feet above flood stage on Friday, May 11, two icons of past flooding are making the most of planning and technology to avoid a negative impact.

Just outside the window of Front Street Brewery, Davenport crews are busy filling Hesco barriers on Monday, May 7. They've used this technique for several years with good results.

It's a much faster and efficient operation than individually filling sandbags.

Front Street Brewery became a symbol of the struggles against flooding over that last 25 years.  But the barriers help to ease the headaches, if not the nerves, of its' new owner.

"I definitely get anxious and worried," said Nate Sobotka, Front Street Brewery.  "I'm sitting here constantly waiting to see the water come up.  But as we get the call saying we should be good, then I'll be at ease."

Nate is grateful for the hard-working city crews and plans to stay open despite traffic and parking snafus.

A short distance away, flood water is moving closer to Modern Woodmen Park.

The stadium became well known for being surrounded by flood water in 1965, 1993 and other years.

While the current scene looks threatening, design and experience help to minimize any damage.

The stadium uses removable panels to keep the water out.

It keeps the games on schedule, and the fans coming back for more.

"In the past, they were constantly, frantically sandbagging, trying to get everything ready for the ballpark," recalled General Manager Andrew Chesser.  "Now, the city of Davenport is doing such a good job. They can put it all in place in about 24 hours."

Chesser advises fans to arrive a few minutes early to avoid any parking problems.