MOLINE, Ill. – When the Quad City Storm joined the Quad Cities community, they said they were a team for the community, one “the community’s going to be proud of.” Community involvement had been lacking from the former hockey team, the Quad City Mallards, but those days are now in the past. The Storm’s impact on the community lasts far longer than just through the hockey season, as life continues in the offseason.
The team has already directly given $162,754 to local charities through the course of the season via jersey auctions, ticket kickbacks, and chuck-a-puck sales. The promotional schedule for the Storm was littered with jersey auctions, five in all, and nights where non-profits would receive money back from tickets sold using a specific link on FEVO. While much more could be written and said about the Storm’s charitable donations throughout the season, that was already done here.
Residents of the Quad Cities are no strangers to floods, as the Mississippi River that divides the Iowa and Illinois cities floods nearly every year to some degree. The combination of spring snowmelt and rainfall add to the already large flow of water in the river, and without the natural floodplains that have been developed, the water has no option but to spread throughout downtown Davenport, Iowa, and parts of downtown Moline, Illinois. Davenport is one of the few cities in the area not to have a permanent flood-wall, as both the cost and the obstruction of the river view are obstacles to this construction, according to KWQC.
The flooding has taken a toll on the summer sports team of the Quad Cities, the Quad City River Bandits, as well. In past years, such as the flood of 1993 that was the previous record for crest levels, Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport where the River Bandits play their home games was filled with floodwater like a bowl.
In 2004, over $13 million in renovations turned the stadium into “Baseball Island” as it’s referred to during floods. These renovations included a removable aluminum flood-wall and a berm in left field that was connected to the flood-wall. A bridge walkway allows access to the island for games to continue — until this year, however. While the stadium is dry, the area surrounding it is underwater.
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Large parts of downtown Davenport, Iowa were submerged this week as a record crest on the Mississippi River led to a flood barrier failure. Around 6 p.m. Thursday, a river gauge at Rock Island on the south side of Davenport reached 22.7 feet. Once verified, this will be a new record for that location, which has 50 years of data. While still unofficial, the record water level tops a 22.63 foot reading during the Great Flood of 1993, with the mark set on July 9 that year. The reading is almost eight feet above flood stage. The outlook for both the short term and longer term suggests more rain is on the way. In large parts of the Mississippi River basin, May is the wettest month in the calendar season. Go to washingtonpost.com to read more. (Photo by Brian Powers/The Des Moines Register via AP)
On Tuesday, April 30, the temporary flood-wall of HESCO barriers broke in downtown Davenport, flooding several blocks and affecting both residential and commercial buildings with multiple feet of water. At that point, the water was only at 21.88 feet in Davenport, below the record of 22.63 feet set on July 9, 1993. This record would be smashed two days later, as on May 2 the Mississippi crested at 22.7 feet.
Following the HESCO barrier breach, the Quad Cities community rallied behind the flood victims. The day after the barrier failed, Whitey’s Ice Cream, a staple in the Quad Cities since 1933, began donating proceeds from the sale of Mississippi Mud ice cream to the flood relief efforts until May 17. The following day, KWQC and the Storm teamed up with United Way and other organizations for a one-day donation drive to benefit the flood victims. Quad Citizens could drive up to either the KWQC news station in Davenport or the TaxSlayer Center, home of the Storm, to give monetary donations to the Quad Cities Disaster Recovery Fund at the Quad Cities Community Foundation. These donations were distributed to various organizations working to support flood relief efforts. Between the two locations and through online donations, over $64,000 was raised.
Speaking to KWQC news on a Facebook Live video during the donation drive, Storm President Gwen Tombergs said about getting involved:
“Because the Quad City Storm’s business model is to give back to the community, and we wanted to make sure that any time there’s a need for our community that we jump in and help. The community, we pull together to make sure that we take care of one another, and I think this is a great opportunity for people to donate whatever they can — every little bit helps…”
The Storm’s involvement in the flood relief efforts is surely just the beginning of what’s in store for the team this offseason.
Be sure to follow @SinBinStorm to track the latest updates about the Storm.