DAVENPORT, Iowa — Things are starting to dry up in flood-damaged Davenport.
The Mississippi River near the Quad Cities has finally dropped below the major flood stage. Right now, it is just below the 18-foot mark.
If the current prediction holds, the river should be back in its banks before Memorial Day.
A temporary levee along the Mississippi River broke on April 30, flooding parts of downtown Davenport.
The water came rushing in at East River Drive, where the temporary levee gave out to the extreme pressure of the river, which had been at an elevated level for weeks.
Several businesses in the area still remain closed.
Surveillance cameras captured the moment the levee broke.
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds and Congressman Dave Loebsack walked through flooding in downtown Davenport Friday. They were also joined by Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch.
The group toured flood damage with first responders and impacted business owners. The lawmakers stopped by Pershing Avenue and 2nd Street where the HESCO barriers initially breached, sending water through the downtown streets and into buildings.
The governor says she is asking FEMA for more time so they can get funding to these businesses.
“It’s just devastating, I mean, this is the impact that it has on individuals and business. You can look at the pictures and you can hear about it, but that’s why it’s so important to physically get here to talk to people who have been impacted by it to see and hear the efforts that’s taken place,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds said she hopes to capture the extent of the damage and recovery efforts to help expedite a presidential declaration to get funding for these businesses to recover.
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Surveillance cameras captured people scrambling to save their vehicles after a levee breach along the Mississippi River flooded downtown Davenport Tuesday.
Watch the upper left corner of the screen, at about 10 seconds in, water starts pouring over the barrier and a person starts running north of the river.
The levee was breached shortly after 3:30 p.m. Water poured onto 2nd Street and Pershing Street.
The video was posted on YouTube by newly-opened restaurant Roam. At about 30 seconds in, you can see a group of employees running out of the building. One employee said they had been inside preparing the space in case flood water came in.
The restaurant left the following message on their Facebook page Friday.
“We recently were able to sort through the damage at Roam and found we were able to salvage our surveillance footage. Upon looking through the footage the team was able to find the exact moment the levee was breached. We hope this video gives you some insight into how devastating and quick this event happened. From the moment the wall went it took less than 6 minutes for Roam to become completely engulfed.”
The business has organized a GoFund Me account to help provide flood relief for their employees.
DAVENPORT, Iowa- The National Weather Service has announced a new all-time preliminary record crest of 22.64 feet at 11:50 AM on Thursday. This broke the record of 22.63 feet from 1993. The river is still rising. The record must go through a National Weather Service confirmation process before it is official.
Residents of the small southeast Iowa town of Buffalo, are used to the Mississippi River getting out of it’s banks. They have not seen it go this far before.
This week sandbag walls have been giving way, causing water to creep further into town than ever before.
“Personal residential floodwalls have broke throughout the week with the rising water and the pressure it’s collapsing some of the walls at some of the restaurants at some of the individual residents here in Buffalo,” said Josh Bujalski, of the Buffalo Police Department.
Overnight a sandbag wall gave in at Clark’s Landing Restaurant. No word on how much damage the rushing water did. The restaurant was still using a sump pup to get water out Thursday morning.
“We got a lot of people my family all the neighbors are working together all the way up and down the alley,” said Doug Klaman, a Buffalo resident. “It’s just a nice centrally located spot we can put our boat in here and get it rolling down the alley just do it we can.”
The neighbors had a sandbag station going, and were loading the sandbags onto a boat to ferry them to where they were needed.
Back up river in Davenport the Mississippi River was rising to set new records, but the Figge Art Museum was open for business as usual, even though much of the south side of the structure was surrounded by water. Flood water was pouring into the first floor parking garage, and the lights light the area, even though there was no parking allowed.
“The building was actually built to withstand a flood and so so far so good,” said Tim Schiffer, Executive Director of the Museum. “We’re weathering it, open for business and all our artwork is safe.”
The garage is designed to drain the water, once the flood recedes.
DAVENPORT, Iowa — “Trucks are still sitting out there, doors are open, windshield wipers were still going, and they ran for it.”
Stalled cars submerged in the middle of downtown Davenport tell the story of how quickly floodwater rushed into the neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon. A temporary barrier along the Mississippi River collapsed around 4:00pm. Within minutes feet of flood water covered the riverfront streets.
Chris Torres owns a restaurant in the middle of floodwater. The building is now filled with inches of water and likely will be for some time. He says that reality is hard to accept.
“I’d like to be able to say we’ll be open for a week but it could be a lot longer than that,” Torres says, “Still got employees who need jobs and bills to pay as well as everything else and just…trying to get back.”
While he can’t re-open for business, he is putting his culinary skill to work. He and his colleagues set up a temporary kitchen outdoors so they can cook for flood victims and volunteers working in the area.
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Floodwaters rolled through a portion of downtown Davenport on Tuesday afternoon. Many businesses and downtown dwellers were impacted by the water, but not many houses.
Wanda Serrano has lived here her whole life, and for the first time ever it wasn’t spared.
“The only issue I’ve had it’s come up behind that gas station up there one year and that was as far as it got,” said Serrano. “The furnace is gone, the water heater is gone, we’re just trying to keep the water pumping it out so it don’t get to the electric box .”
Volunteers were helping her sandbag the front of the home to keep water out of the first floor.
“We didn’t have a big enough, what do you call them- compression things, -pump so I had to go buy one,” said Serrano. “So I went and got one and they hooked it up.”
Pumps are also running at businesses up and down Second Avenue. This home has a total of five people staying here. Some are thinking about looking for another place to live, soon.
“I’m not sure what I’m gonna do I’m gonna have to find another place to live,” said Doug Neitzel. “City’s probably going to close the house down I’m sure.”
This comes as the crest of the Mississippi River is approaching,
“This is an ongoing thing, comes up all the time but never nothing like this,” said Serrano.
DAVENPORT, Iowa — A temporary levee along the Mississippi River broke in Davenport Tuesday, allowing the downtown area to flood.
People were trapped in their homes and cars and emergency crews had to use boats to rescue them.
“Well I didn`t know how I was going to get out until the firefighters came to our apartment and actually put me on a boat to get me out of there, so I am very thankful for them,” said resident Alex Moore.
Moore says his apartment building was surrounded by about four feet of water.
“You know I don`t know what I’m going to do. I’m fresh out of college…so I don`t have much food in my fridge. I wouldn’t say helpless…I was a little concerned where I was going to get my next meal from,” Moore said.
He was also concerned for the downtown businesses affected by the flooding, “I feel terrible. I mean, there’s a lot of businesses around here that unfortunately went out. I saw Front Street Brewery was closing their doors indefinitely. Been there a lot of times. Feel bad about that. There’s the River Front Brewery as well and it’s just sad. Unfortunate for those businesses, they didn’t deserve that.”
The water came rushing in at East River Drive where the temporary levee gave out to the extreme pressure of the river, which has been at an elevated level for weeks.
The temporary levee, made up of Hesco barriers, had kept Davenport dry all spring until the failure Tuesday.
The barriers are essentially a metal cage that is lined with plastic and then filled with sand or gravel. They were placed on top of two of the existing levees, adding several feet of flood protection. Each Hesco barrier is the equivalent to about 1,500 sandbags.
Officials say no injuries have been reported from the flooding.