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WQAD.com

Mississippi River communities brace for incoming flood

Public works crews across the Quad Cities are filling sandbags, assembling flood walls and staging other materials to keep rising river waters at bay.

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- Public works crews across the Quad Cities are filling sandbags, assembling flood walls and staging other materials to keep rising river waters at bay.

In loud neon green jackets, a crew in Bettendorf spent Thursday afternoon filling sandbags two at a time. The process takes good timing and technique.

"If the machines are running good and we get enough people, we can do 1,000 bags an hour easily," said Dave Goetsch, who's been working for Bettendorf Public Works for more than 20 years.

He said the trick is to fill sandbags just halfway full, so as the crews stack them, they spread out and fill in gaps to create more watertight structures.

Meanwhile, Rock Island work crews were using sandbags to help reinforce one of their flood walls on the Mississippi River.

"We get all this prepped and then when it does come, you sit back and you wait," said Kevin Horton of Rock Island Public Works.

A crane could be seen swinging flood wall panels into place Thursday afternoon.

"These guys know what they're doing, and those walls go up pretty quick," said Horton.

Back across the river in Davenport, crews could be seen staging materials at Modern Woodmen Park. The city said the wall was fully assembled by Thursday evening.