DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Hundreds of communities line the Mississippi River, but Davenport, Iowa, is among the few where people can dip their toes into the water without scaling a flood wall or levee.
It’s a point of pride in Davenport, but after historic flooding this spring inundated some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and shops, residents are confronting a painful question: Can they remain connected with the river without being overwhelmed by it?
Looming over the discussions is an acknowledgement that climate change will likely mean heavier rainstorms that will swell the river to ever higher levels.
Community leaders are working on options for protecting their downtown while avoiding a concrete wall or rocky levee.
As Mayor Frank Klipsch puts it, “It’s not so simple as ‘let’s go build a wall.’”