Tricia Collins, owner of Polished Hair Lounge at 735 Federal St. in Davenport, spent Saturday night with other family members, friends and a few of her employees filling and hauling sandbags to put around the building in which her business is located.
With the floodwaters returning, Collins said she is going to try her best to protect her building.
At 18 feet, she said, the floodwaters will be right at the front doorstep.
“I hope this helps even just a little bit,” Collins said, as she carried a sandbag and placed it on her sandbag wall.
“I’m not just trying to protect myself but my employees,” said. “We were fortunate the last time we were displaced to split up and go do a bit of work at other salons. But we’re also paying money to them to rent that space for a few days. Meanwhile, the rent doesn’t stop here. We’re trying to avoid that situation this time and keep our clients.
“Everybody understands, and nobody was mad,” she said of her clientele. Even if her building is not flooded, with River Drive closed her clients have to find the back roads to get to the business.
“We lost eight business days this last time,” Collins said. “That’s about $10,000 worth of business. That’s a lot of money for a small business. It’s going to take a long time to dig ourselves out of that hole created by the flood. We’re doing whatever we can to keep our head above water.
“We’re lucky we have friends and family, employees and clients helping with this because our landlord isn’t helping at all,” she added.
Three other business share the building, Collins said. One is the Davenport School of Yoga and there are two call centers in the building.
Meteorologist Tim Gross of the National Weather Service, Davenport, said Saturday night there is a high confidence of the Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 15, Rock Island, will reach 18 feet sometime between May 25 and June 7.
Resident hydrologist Jessica Brooks said in a news release about the rising floodwaters that a break in the rain is expected Sunday afternoon through much of the day Monday. But the threat of heavy rain returns Tuesday.
Brooks said that the distribution of where the heavier amounts of rain fall will make a difference in how high the Mississippi River rises.
Gross said there is low confidence of the river rising to a range of 18.5-20 feet due to the distribution of the rainfall over the next seven days.
Collins said she will be out again Sunday with friends and family, filling, hauling and stacking sandbags.
“I’m on standby for a third load of sand and another thousand sandbags from the city,” she said.
Gross said that there is one benefit from the rains that have hit the middle of the country from Texas all the way to the Canadian border. There are no pockets of drought, or even abnormally dry conditions, throughout the middle of the country, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
In fact, outside of the normal desert areas, there are very few dry or drought conditions in the U.S.
“It’s been a long time since the Midwest, from north to south, has been drought free,” Gross said. “Being completely drought-free is very abnormal for this time of year.”
But it has been a wet spring. In the past 30 days, the Quad-City region and northwestern Illinois has received more than 5 inches of rain. It is the same way in Missouri.
“Rainfall amounts have been 125 percent to 175 percent of normal during the last 30 days, from April 18-May 17,” Gross said. “In Missouri, it’s the same thing.
It’s been a very active late April and early May,” he said.
Collins’ sister, Sarah Collins, owns What A Gem in downtown Davenport, right next door to Me & Billy, which is owned by her parents and her sister, Frances Maus.
Me & Billy will be holding a bar-crawl beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday. Entry is $25. All proceeds will be going to Grow Quad-Cities Fund to help flood victims.