Chamber Leader Calls for Quick Action on Permanent Flood Protection

Jul 24, 2019

The head of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is making it clear, Davenport businesses want the city to take quick action on long term flood protection.

At Monday's second meeting of the Davenport Flood Task Force, chamber President and CEO, Paul Rumler, urged the group to develop a plan to permanently protect all of Davenport's riverfront.

Rumler used Cedar Rapids and Coralville as examples of cities that took action to protect areas that were inundated by floodwater in 2008. He says Davenport's downtown is touted as a "beacon of progress," and that it's critical to protect the city's and business community's investments from flooding for economic growth to continue.

Map showing trends of extreme precipitation

At Monday's meeting, the group heard presentations from the Corps of Engineers about why the temporary flood wall failed. The Quad Cities National Weather Service also told members what led to the record flood on the Mississippi River this year, along with long term trends pointing to more and higher floods in the future.

At the first meeting of Davenport's Flood Task Force, members formed small groups to prioritize what they want to protect from high water. The top tier mainly includes infrastructure such as the Water Pollution Control Plant, access to bridges, River Drive, the post office, and utilities. The second tier includes streets, the baseball stadium, west end businesses, and the Freight House. And the third tier features parks, River's Edge, boat docks, the Skybridge, Credit Island, and other recreational amenities.

One of the break-out groups decided not to prioritize what should be protected, saying the entire nine miles of Davenport riverfront should be protected.