Illinois’ Mississippi River cities avoid major flood damage

The Mississippi River is now on its way down in the Quad Cities, and there is very little flood damage, which is by design.

It’s easier and much more cost effective to get ahead of a flood than it is to clean up afterward, state Sen. Sue Rezin said.

“The old model in the past was ‘We have this major damage from flooding. Let’s go to state government and the federal government to replace whatever critical assets we had on the river that were flooded,’” Rezin said.

Now cities and counties are spending money on flood-control projects to avoid flood damage all together.

Rock Island and Moline formalized a response plan years ago. Crews now know where erect walls or lay sandbags to keep the river from flooding any more than just a few riverfront parks. Authorities in the village of Andalusia ordered pumps from the state last month to keep the water out of their downtown.

That’s one reason why there’s little to no flood damage on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

Rezin said good behavior and good policies should be rewarded with grants.

“Grants should be given to (cities) who have been proactive, who have done their homework, who have passed and enforced flood ordinances.”

The Mississippi River came within about six inches of a “major” flood, but most of Moline and Rock Island are dry.

Rezin said there’s not enough money in Springfield or D.C. to pay for widespread damage after a flood, and cities need to know that before the water starts to rise.

–Illinois News Network

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