Davenport’s riverfront businesses brace for rising floodwaters

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- As the Mississippi River rises to a predicted crest of over 20 feet this weekend, riverfront businesses are bracing for the rising waters.

At Q&Q Beauty Supplies, a family-owned business on River Drive, workers have been stacking up sandbags and positioning products inside the warehouse on three to four pallets to make sure they wouldn't get wet and ruined by the floodwaters.

"I love this location. I love this here. I love this business a lot," said Cong Le. "This is my passion," she said.

Le said she thought the city should build a permanent flood wall to help protect the businesses on the riverfront. But the city says it has explored that option and it doesn't make financial sense.

Flood fighting techniques now in practice cost about 250,000 dollars per year. A 2014 analysis said such a permanent structure would cost upwards of 174 million dollars to build.

"That is a huge amount of money in relationship to the amount that’s being spent, and I think that a lot of folks think that it’s equal amounts or close," said Steve Ahrens at the Davenport Riverfront Improvement Commission. "But it would take some 700 flood events to come even close to paying for that structural flood protection," he said.

Le says that her business is in a good location for most of the year, and most importantly, that her business would be ready for the flood this spring.

"I stay tall and make sure my business is protected," she said.

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