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Davenport leaders confident in flood plan as Mississippi River continues to rise

DAVENPORT, Iowa - As the Mississippi River continues to rise, Davenport Public Works crews are working 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to monitor the flood's impact to the downtown area.

On Friday, additional barriers were set up along River Drive, near Union Station and the Freight House Farmer's Market.

The extra precaution comes as the river is expected to rise from about 18.4 feet on Monday, April 1st to about 20.2 feet by the following weekend.

According to Nicole Gleason, Director of Public Works for the City of Davenport, the current  flood plan in place is the same plan designed back in 2008.

After each flood, an after-action report is built to determine where improvements to the plan can be made.

"The highest flood (the current) plan has seen is around 20.5 (feet), so we are fairly confident in what will happen at 20.5 (feet)." Gleason told News 8. "I would say beyond that, 21.5, 22 foot area, the flood protection along River Drive would likely need to be elevated."

She also admitted to some uncertainty in what could happen if record-breaking flood were to impact the area.

"There`s other impacts that we maybe don`t even know because it is so much different than it was in 1993," she said.

In early March, meteorologists with the National Weather Service said the Mississippi River could bring record-breaking floods to the Quad City area this April.

Since then, the forecast has changed, and the river is no-longer expected to break the 1993 record of 22.6 feet.

"Because North of us is seeing some day time thaw, night time freezing still, it is essentially slowing down how quickly (the water) is coming so we are hoping that the crest will stay below record now," Gleason said.

That does not mean the Quad Cities is in the clear.

Instead of a record-breaking crest, the flooding is expected to stick around for a longer period of time, according to Gleason.

Flood barriers, which need to remain up until leaders are confident the Mississippi River in Davenport stays below 18 feet for an extended period of time, could remain in place until at least April 31.

It is a protective measure that will help protect people and property.

"Hopefully, the majority of residents won`t be impacted other than their commute, but we really want everybody to be safe."

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