Cleanup Efforts from Flooding Continue in Davenport, Quad Cities, Iowa

May 7, 2008

With cleanup efforts under way, life is slowly returning to normal in riverfront areas across the Quad Cities in Iowa.

Cleanup crews went to work on Monday, May 5th even though flooding was still a worry in some areas.

There were signs that flood season was perhaps drawing to a close, however: The Rhythm City riverboat casino in downtown Davenport was scheduled to reopen at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Flooding had blocked its doors and forced the business to close last week.

Workers sprayed off the sandbagged roadways in front of the casino on Monday afternoon, getting ready for the return of casino visitors.

Mo Hyder, Rhythm City’s vice president and general manager, said that city officials had worked especially hard to help downtown businesses.

“This has been a year of extreme weather conditions. Everyone worked together to ensure that downtown Davenport continues to welcome visitors with open arms,” he said.

City crews continued dismantling temporary levees and doing cleanup work throughout downtown Davenport. That included sweeping off and spraying down River Drive and other streets, many of which were reopened to traffic on Monday.

Dan Wingate Sr., a supervisor in the city’s sewer department, stood in the middle of River Drive, where a flood gate under the street was still holding back the river late Monday afternoon.

“It’s not quite ready yet (to be reopened),” he said. “But the river’s really dropping fast.”

Water levels receded so much over the weekend that people walked into the city’s Modern Woodmen Park on Monday by way of the sidewalk. A temporary pedestrian bridge had been constructed because water surrounded the baseball stadium at the height of the flooding last week.

The riverfront trail between Davenport and the Interstate 74 bridge also is open again, city officials said.

Despite rain and storms forecast for today, Wednesday (May 7) and Thursday (May 8), officials at the National Weather Service in Davenport expect the Mississippi River to fall below flood stage in the Quad-Cities by late this weekend or early next week.

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