The Mississippi River may get all the attention when thoughts turn to floods brought on by snowmelt and rain.
But there are other waterways in Davenport that are subject to flooding and affected by ice jams that can wreak havoc on homes and businesses, said Wayne Willie, a certified floodplain manager for Davenport’s Community Planning and Economic Development office.
Willie, along with other members of city staff and state officials, spoke to about 50 people Thursday during a community forum called “Living with Floods” held at Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport.
“We have a lot of work to do on Duck Creek, and the list is too long to discuss in a short time,” Willie said.
But there is a starting point.
“We need to buy out more people, but that usually occurs after a flood,” he said. People also may prefer to rebuild or repair their property.
The best way to avert flood damage, he said, is to have a “completely open floodplain that is allowed to flood naturally.”
Duck Creek also is susceptible to ice jams, he added.
Flood losses are mostly acts of man, Willie said, because too much effort is spent trying to control the Mississippi and other rivers.
In 1926, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proclaimed that the Mississippi would never flood again.
“A year later, we had the flood of 1927 that affected six states, displaced 700,000 people, and cost $6 billion in 2011 dollars,” he said.
Davenport Public Works director Mike Clarke said the city has learned much about protecting property from the floods of the past.
He said the city is prepared to deal with a flood that reaches 26 feet and to help residents trying to protect their property.