You really can get there from here. It just takes a little maneuvering for Quad-Citians to reach some of the businesses affected by rising floodwaters.
As the flood creeps closer, businesses keep customers updated through social media and word of mouth.
Customers use an alley to get their brews at Milltown Coffee, 3800 River Drive, Suite 2, Moline, said Cameron Cartee, owner. He said the water started creeping up two or three weeks ago.
“The access roads weren’t shut off, but they were close,” he said. He suggests customers take 4th Avenue to 34th Street, then turn left, continue to the barricade sign and turn right. Head down an alleyway off 34th Street and that brings you behind the building.
A few spots are under water, but ample parking remains. Depending on the crest, sandbagging may be in order at some point, he said.
Milltown hours have been reduced temporarily from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Cartee said.
Brandon Bartz, owner of The Foundation fitness center at 3800 River Drive Suite 1, Moline, says crews at nearby George Evans Corp., 121 37th St., Moline, have been a terrific help.
This is the second time Bartz has faced flooding since 2014, he said.
The George Evans Corp., which fabricates carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel, copper and brass, has semis coming in and out all day, he said. “They put up huge barricades, big bags that expand and create a sand wall,” he said. “They’ve been super-helpful.”
To get to either The Foundation or the George Evans Corp. off 4th Avenue, go down 34th Street toward the river, and turn right on a gravel alleyway that runs parallel with the railroad tracks, Bartz said.
Clients are unsure how to reach the fitness center, he said. “We were slower Tuesday afternoon.” But business had picked up again Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Jim Houdyshell, general manager at George Evans Corp., said business continues as usual with the detour and the wall. Office crews also are pumping water out of the area, he said.
The Rev. Paul Anderson, operations pastor for Heritage Church, which has congregations in Bettendorf, Moline and Rock Island, said the church owns the former Kone building — 110,000 square feet — that was the former office and warehouse space for Kone in the area of 1801 River Drive, Moline.
“We are in the process of remodeling and revitalizing this property — we look at this as a center of collaboration for the community,” Anderson said.
The Heritage flood mitigation plan starts about 18 feet and continues to about 23 feet.
“It’s pretty manageable for us,” he said. “This is about the level where storm sewers need to be shut off to the river because the river’s starting to back up into those storm sewers,” he said, adding Heritage has done some “very minor sandbagging” in the area where there is some puddling of water but “nothing too major.”
Heritage collaborates with Moline and Illinois Department of Transportation. “Both have been very helpful,” he said. “Flood mitigation is a group effort.”
In Davenport, The Diner, on the second floor of the Freight House, 421 W. River Drive, remains open for business even though about 40 of its parking spots are submerged.
“We do have a few spots right now,” owner Tara Elkins said Wednesday. The Diner has an agreement with Union Station that customers can park in its lot.
“We opened the very end of November and got through the winter, and now we’re facing this,” Elkins said. “We’re taking a pretty big hit from it.”
She said people don’t think they’re open, or don’t know how to get there. Customers should go down Harrison Street and then take Ripley to get to the diner, she said.
In Muscatine, a recent project completed in November keeps most businesses safe from floodwaters.
Kevin Jenison, communications manger for Muscatine, said the Mississippi Drive Reconstruction Project included upgrades to storm and sanitary sewers for 1.5 miles. “That eliminated flooding potential … businesses get an extra foot or two before they get water,” although some business have some water in their basements, he said.