‘A big one’: Davenport, Iowa, braces for record flood
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Volunteers in Davenport are filling thousands of sandbags, workers are rushing to protect the city’s signature minor league baseball park, and the mayor is warning residents of one neighborhood to be ready to evacuate if necessary as the city braces for a potentially historic flood.
Officials in Davenport, an eastern Iowa city of 100,000 residents that hugs the Mississippi River, say the water level in coming days and weeks could surpass the 22.63-foot record crest in 1993, which closed downtown businesses and streets for weeks and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents. Davenport is the largest metropolitan area along the upper Mississippi without a flood wall, partly because officials and residents concerned about the cost and protecting their connection to the river have rejected the idea of building one.
The city’s flood-fighting strategy plans for a maximum crest of 24 feet. But a National Weather Service forecast that indicates a 50% chance of a record flood has left city officials scrambling to prepare for waters of up to 26 feet.