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A pump sits ready to deal with flood waters near the dike at the intersection of Garden and Pansy Avenues June 22, 2018. In 1993 the Mississippi crested at a record 22.63 feet flooding much of the Garden Addition. Following the 2001 flood many homes in the neighborhood were torn down. The dike may break during the 2019 flooding, city officials warn.

As emergency crews continue to deal with major flooding events around the city, Davenport officials are warning residents of the Garden Addition neighborhood about a possible dike failure that could worsen flooding in the West End.

Fliers passed out to area residents say the dike along Black Hawk Creek is under 24-hour monitoring until further notice. City workers are armed with air horns that they’ll use in the event the dike fails, and the fire department will come through with lights and sirens for an additional warning, according to the notice.

“If you hear an air horn or lights and sirens, please move to higher ground immediately to avoid an in-rush of water,” the fliers say. The notices also advise people to first go to the Hy-Vee grocery store at Rockingham Road and Concord Street for safety.

On Wednesday afternoon, some of the roads were covered in standing water that several area residents said had continued to rise since the morning. Among them was Cheryl Giltmier, who’s lived in her home in the 3100 block of Orchard Avenue for eight years.

“We have our fingers crossed in this house,” she said.

Giltmier’s husband, Ralph, is disabled and on hospice care. While the flooding isn’t the worst she’s seen over the years, Giltmier said she’s worried that it’ll be difficult to get her husband out of the house if the dike breaks and evacuation procedures commence.

“It’s just scary,” she added.

Lenton Rush lives in a corner house that sits along Orchard Avenue and Floral Lane, where he moved in about three months ago. He was in his driveway as public works crews were around the block, coming and going in massive trucks treading over a submerged Floral Lane.

Rush, who’s lived in Davenport for more than 40 years, says it’s the worst case he’s seen in some time.

“Ain’t nothing you can do about Mother Nature,” he said.

Visiting Rush was his landlord, Ralph Kelly. Kelly, who owns other property in the area, said he came by to make sure Rush was all right, saying he intends to put his tenants up somewhere if local emergency officials evacuate the area.

As the U.S. Coast Guard was working on the flooding in downtown Davenport, Kelly questioned whether the city was devoting enough attention to the West End. He said resources should be divided equally, adding that the city should provide more to keep the water out of the Garden Addition.

“Why didn’t people sandbag here?” he said.

The Garden Addition is a collection of neighborhoods in west Davenport that were in crisis in the 1993 flood. A dike was fortified after that, and many homes were bought out, but flooding of the neighboring Black Hawk Creek remains a concern.

-Staff Report

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