In a matter of weeks, towns along the Mississippi River will flood. Many are preparing for the worst. The Quad Cities on the Illinois-Iowa border have been fighting these floods for years, the most recent was the destructive and epic deluge of 2019.
"We expect to flood every year, that's just what we do," said Mike Matson, the mayor of Davenport, Iowa. "We live with the river."
In Davenport, Matson and the entire community are preparing and bracing.
"There is a prediction, a decent chance, for a major flood," Matson said.
In Davenport, city crews have already engaged 24-hour shifts on their pumps and stations as they they protect their 9 miles of riverfront.
Flowing south through the Iowa-Illinois border, the Mississippi River is hovering around 15 feet above normal. The National Weather Service categorizes that number as flood stage.
Major flood stage is 18 feet and is expected. The hope here is that precipitation stays minimal.
"That's what happened in 2019. We had a big flood and then a deluge of rainfall on top," Matson said. "That's what caused the huge issue."
In video captured four years ago, downtown streets in Davenport were underwater, as homes and business were wiped out. In total, eight states experienced the wrath of the river and excessive rainfall.
"Since then, they have taken steps to reduce the impact that flooding has," Matson said.
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City officials and the United States Army Corps of Engineers are making sure the pumps are working and up to par. Plus, they are training employees on how and when to start building make-shift flood walls, which will begin in the days ahead.
"It's part of living here I suppose," said Tony Behncke with Downtown Davenport Partnership. "It would be similar to forest fires out West or mudslides on the California coastline. If you are native, you have grown up with it. And if you are new, you will experience it within a handful of years."