Events that shaped us 

Rock Island County Farm Bureau
1601 52 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Hempel Pipe and Supply
951 S Rolff St
Davenport, IA 52802

McGladrey & Pullen, LLP
Certified Public Accountants and Consultants
220 North Main St Suite 900
Davenport, Ia 52801

McGladrey & Pullen, LLP
Certified Public Accountants and Consultants
600 35 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

1607 John Deere Rd
East Moline, IL 61244

John Deere Pavilion
1400 River Dr
Moline, IL 61265

John Deere Store
1300 River Drive Suite 100
Moline, IL 61265

Birdsell Chiropractic
1201 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

2484 53 St
Bettendorf, IA 52722

17th St and 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

2132 E 11 St
Davenport, IA

1422 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Teske Pet & Garden Center
2432 16 St
Moline, IL 61265

Teske Pet & Garden Center
2395 Spruce Hills Dr
Bettendorf, IA 52722

Moline Welding Inc
1801 2 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Barnett's House of Fireplaces
1620 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

DeGreve Oil Change
2777 18 St
Bettendorf, IA 52722

DeGreve Oil Change
3400 State St
Bettendorf, IA 52722

DeGreve Oil Change
3900 N Pine
Davenport, IA

DeGreve Oil change
2125 53 St
Moline, IL 61265

DeGreve Oil Change
1618 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

DeGreve Oil change
3560 N Brady St
Davenport, IA

1305 5 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Pratt's Antiques
125 E Main St
Aledo, IL 61231

Main St Antiques
114 E Main St
Aledo, IL 61231

Conner Co
PO Box 888
East Moline, IL 61244

Kimball Cleaners
308 SW 5th Ave
Aledo, IL 61231

Williams Studio
New Windsor, IL 61465

Andalusia, IL 61232

Hideaway Plastics
1801 17 St
PO Box 379
Viola, IL 61486

Deer & Co Credit Union
3950 38 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

2018 4 Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

Walcott Trust & Savings Bank
101 W Bryant St
PO Box 108
Walcott, IA 52773

Mississippi Laser
7700 47 St
Milan, IL 61264

Longs Carpet
4200 11 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Roth Pump
Box 4330
Rock Island, IL 61201

Flood of '93: Mississippi to the max

By Kate Woodburn, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

Click here for larger view.
It takes sand to fill sandbags. Here volunteers attack a pile of sand in the parking lot of the just opened Mark of the Quad-Cities on River Drive in Downtown Moline.
After the flood of 1965, the Mississippi River stayed near its banks for 28 springs and summers, before showing its ugly side again in June 1993.

That year, the water kept rising for nearly a month, until it reached a crest -- and a new record -- at 22.63 feet on July 9, 1993. It was 7.63 feet above flood stage.

The communities affected by this record-setting water level needed a lot of support, and they were not disappointed. Volunteers and donations came not only from all over the Quad-Cities area, but also from across the country.

The Red Cross provided shelter and meals for flood victims. Gary Shivers, emergency services director at the Red Cross, said that one shelter was open and occupied for three weeks.

Mr. Shivers said that more than 800 families in Rock Island and Scott counties were affected. The shelters also had people from ``up and down the Mississippi. We had people from LeClaire, Pleasant Valley, Rock Island, Davenport, East Moline, Buffalo,'' said Mr. Shivers.

The Salvation Army also was involved in collecting and distributing supplies. In the beginning these supplies consisted mostly of food. ``Our role in the beginning, in the crisis stage, was to provide emergency food supplies to people who had been displaced from their homes,'' said Kernan Nucci in disaster services at the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army in the Quad-Cities also shipped supplies to Buffalo, New Boston and Keithsburg.

Volunteers all over the Quad-Cities area used boats and their imaginations to get sandbags to where they were most needed, as this group in Andalusia demonstrated.
As the water began to go down the Salvation Army switched gears and helped flood victims repair the damage that had been done to their homes. From April 1994 to August 1995, ``We began to issue people building supplies,'' said Mr. Nucci. During this time he estimates that they gave out ``half a million square feet of building supplies.'' This included plywood, underlayment, dry wall, subfloor and insulation. He said they ``issued about 350 tons of dry wall. We were really pumping it out.''

The Salvation Army also helped people furnish the houses they repaired. Beside the food their warehouse also held ``brand new furniture, brand new bedroom sets, dining room tables, and chairs,'' said Mr. Nucci.

Help to heat houses was also available. They ``either repaired or replaced peoples' furnaces that were damaged by the water,'' said Mr. Nucci. About $75,000 was spent on furnaces, allowing them to help about 250 households.

Because of the attention the flood received in the news media, donations came from all over the country. ``It was interesting to see how people responded. When the national networks reported that the water supply was polluted in Des Moines, we just had trucks and trucks of water delivered,'' said Mr. Nucci. ``This stuff came in from all over the country,'' he said.

Supplies weren't the only form of help that arrived; volunteers came from all over, too. There were ``volunteers coming every day. We had church groups from Wisconsin come work in our warehouse for a week,'' said Mr. Nucci.

Other organizations also helped flooded towns. In Iowa, the Scott County Emergency Management Organization held ``meetings every day with all the key players,'' including mayors, policemen, firemen, and other officials, said Ross Bergen of the Scott County Emergency Management Organization. They found out what the cities needed and then ``facilitated getting those needs filled,'' he said.

According to Mr. Bergen, almost any area that had any damage from the flood sustained heavy damage and it's hard for him to say what area may have been hit the hardest. ``You ask anybody from a different area and they'll say their area did,'' he said.

As the Mississippi moved toward its record breaking crest, the Quad Cities was a cast panorama of water in which exhaustion mixed with frantic efforts to save property from the flood. On July 4, in the shadow of an American flag, Jim Powel caught some sleep in the sand bags protecting Chet's Lounge in Davenport.
After a lot of consideration, Mr. Bergen said that, as far as the number of people affected in an area, lower Pleasant Valley was hit very hard.

Dave DeBarre, director of the Rock Island County Emergency Service and Disaster Organization, agreed that it was hard to single out an area that was hit exceptionally hard. ``All along the river really -- Port Byron, Rapids City, Cordova,'' he said.

But the devastation didn't stop with towns along the Mississippi River. Heavy flooding was also found in towns along the Rock River. ``Hillsdale, Barstow all along the Rock River because the Rock backed up and could not flow as quickly as it needed to into the Mississippi,'' said Mr. DeBarre.

Since many towns were affected, each needed many volunteers. ``It was wonderful. The volunteers came out and did a great job. I was real happy,'' said Mr. DeBarre. He said the volunteers were diverse bunches of people, ranging in age, gender and everything else. ``They were just people willing to try to help in the effort,'' he said.

The volunteers also came from a lot of different places. ``We had church groups and volunteer groups come up from other towns and cities outside of Rock Island County and pitch in,'' said Mr. DeBarre.

All these volunteers had plenty of work. According to Mr. DeBarre, they used 166,000 sandbags from the Rock Island County Emergency Service and Disaster Organization. The total number of sandbags is impossible to estimate because, ``a lot of businesses went out and bought thousands of sandbags,'' he said.

One business affected by the flooding was the Front Street Brewery in Davenport, which experienced water damage twice that year. The flood of 1993 is ``a little bit misleading because we had two segments,'' said Steve Zuidema, Front Street's head brewer. ``The spring flood was pretty sizable,'' he said, and the summer one was even larger.

While these two flooding periods caused many problems for Front Street Brewery there was one good thing about a heavy flood following a lighter one. ~ ``We had the spring flood to get us trained a little bit,'' said Mr. Zuidema. When it came time for the big summer flood, ``we were definitely prepared,'' he said, noting they still had some pumps and other equipment on hand.

When the summer flooding began, people at Front Street Brewery knew they were in trouble ``only a few days into it, it came so fast,'' said Mr. Zuidema. Though much of the equipment was still in place, they still had a lot of work to do. ``We had to build a dike system that surroundedthe building, and had to remove anything from the lower levels,'' he said.

For this dike system they used 7,000 to 8,000 sand bags and many volunteers. Mr. Zuidema said there are ``a lot of good people around here who pitched in and helped.''

Since 1993 Front Street Brewery has seen some flooding, but nothing to rival the record-setting water or problems they had that year. ``Minor floods since then are more of an irritation than anything else,'' said Mr. Zuidema. These small floods hurt business because they made travel on River Drive difficult. But Front Street hasn't had to close because of high water since 1993, when it took nine weeks to reopen.

Up the river in LeClaire there was also a lot of sandbagging. LeClaire fire Chief Terry Rossmiller said that, at any given time, about 50 people were sandbagging in the LeClaire area. ``We sandbagged at various times. It was a continuous thing,'' he said.

Usually there were about 20 firefighters and 30 citizens sandbagging, he said. The non-firefighter sandbaggers were mostly local residents and ranged in age from teenagers to people in their mid-50s, Mr. Rossmiller said.

Many people worked to save their own houses, ``mainly an individual effort,'' said Tom Molumby, a LeClaire firefighter. These people sandbagged around their houses, ``basically building four walls of sandbags five or six feet high,'' he said.

Mr. Molumby and Mr. Rossmiller agreed that one of the worst spots in their area was Canal Shore Drive, ``a residential street right along the river,'' said Mr. Molumby. Mr. Rossmiller said that another area hit very hard was north of town near the quarries and U.S. 67. ``The DOT had to build 67 up a little,'' he said.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.