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Crews rebuild flood barrier to protect downtown Davenport

May 24, 2019
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FILE - In this Friday, May 3, 2019, aerial file photo, flood waters from the Mississippi River surround Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa. Officials in Davenport say the city's public works department has spent over $1 million on flood-fighting efforts and that figure will surely rise as more costs are added in preparation for the potential of future flooding. The Quad-City Times reports that Davenport Public Works Director Nicole Gleason says the future outlays are tough to project, but noted the flooding costs put pressure on a department where there are a limited number of workers already managing several other obligations. (Kevin E. Schmidt/Quad City Times via AP, File)/Quad City Times via AP)

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Crews are rebuilding a temporary flood barrier in an effort to protect downtown Davenport as the Mississippi River threatens to rise again.

The river breached the barrier on April 30, sending floodwaters into the city. Video footage from security cameras on the day of the flood shows water spilling over the top of the barrier.

An investigation by the barrier’s British manufacturer HESCO found no structural fault. The receded floodwaters revealed new evidence showing the road remained undamaged despite the flood, also suggesting the Mississippi River rose above the flood barrier.

Crews started to reassemble the structure Wednesday, packing giant green baskets with sand, the Quad-City Times reported.

Davenport’s public works department has already spent over $1 million on fighting floods this spring. Numerous businesses have had to gut their buildings, relocate, postpone openings or shut down altogether.

As of Thursday, the Mississippi River was at 16.7 feet (5.1 meters), which is slightly less than 2 feet (60 centimeters) above flood stage. But the river could rise to at least 18 feet (5.5 meters) by May 31, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather Service experts added the likely peak range is 19 feet (5.8 meters) to 21.5 feet (6.5 meters) between May 31 and June 6.

About 30 miles (50 kilometers) downstream on the river, the city of Muscatine announced it will two of its floodgates Sunday morning, before the river there is expected to crest at 22.3 feet (6.8 meters) on Wednesday. Flood stage at Muscatine is 16 feet (4.88 meters).

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Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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