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The Eric Factor: Why the need for help goes up after water goes down

WQAD News -

It's been nearly three weeks since a temporary levee broke, flooding much of downtown Davenport. Within days, a new record-high flood was recorded in the Quad Cities, exceeding the level of "The Great Flood of 1993."

Residents of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois were quick to react, volunteering dozens of hours of time to clean up flooded areas. Donations flooded in as well but for many cleaning up, the need doesn't go away when the water goes away.

I recently sat down with Dr. Gary Ludwig, a Psychologist here in the Quad Cities. I asked him what message the media needs to give to the public after the flood. He said, "flooding is different because it's often a disaster that doesn't go away quickly. The need remains there, long after the flood goes away and that usually happens after the media's coverage goes away."


This is quite evident this morning as we are reporting more than $10,000 donated to help the Quad City Animal Welfare Center after a fire. For yours truly, it's the noblest of all needs, helping animals who are helpless. I was so happy to see family and friends, even outside the Quad City area give to this need.

But a disaster such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, or earthquake happens instantly and is over. The need for relief is there immediately and goes down with time. For flooding, that need works in a different way. It makes me wonder if ten thousand was raised in 12 hours for the animal shelter, how much money was raised in the 12 full days since our record flood? My challenge to you is to give as much to flood relief as you can. This is not a "one or the other." Let's give to both and if monetary donations aren't easy for you, perhaps donate your time.

We are a giving community and I know we'll be better in the end because we came together when we needed it. For the animals AND the people.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

Dryer catches fire at Rock Island home

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — A dryer caught on fire at a home on 3345 28th Street Court in Rock Island on Sunday evening.

Homeowners Marcus and Jamie McQueen were getting ready for bed when they heard a loud “bang”. Marcus told News 8 he ran to the basement and saw the laundry basket in front of the dryer on fire. He grabbed it and carried it outside, but when he returned, the whole dryer was on fire. The couple rushed to wake their kids, 2, 6, 12 and 13 years old, and get them outside. Marcus tried to run back to get a work computer but the basement was already completely engulfed in flames. 

Several Rock Island fire engines, police and ambulance vehicles responded, while neighbors, friends and family crowded around to comfort the couple as they watched first responders clear the house from across the street.

Marcus McQueen said nobody was hurt or injured, only “there’ll be a lot of damage.” He said he inhaled smoke but the kids are fine and staying with his sister’s who lives nearby. 

The Score Sunday – Alleman Soccer, Geneseo Soccer, YQC Rowers, FCA

WQAD News -

Alleman Soccer wins the 1A Regional Title.  Hears what the Pioneers have to say has been working this year and what they expect in the upcoming Sectional Semifinals.

Geneseo Soccer is on a 20 game unbeaten streak.  The Maple leafs enter Regional play as the top seed and are focused on making a deep run this year.

YMCA QC Rowers are looking to follow up an historic year with another solid performance. Hear what they have to say about their upcoming season and how you can get involved with rowing.

The FCA story of the week features Orion Senior track star Danielle Taets.  Taets is the defending champ in the 100 hurdles and is ready to approach her last track meet with the same effort and energy that won the state title.

Rollover accident in Rock Island

WQAD News -

ROCK ISLAND, Illiniois – Rock Island police and fire crews responded to a rollover accident on 35th Street West near the Centennial Expressway in Rock Island shortly before 6 P.M. on Sunday, April 12.

A police car blocked off 35th Street in the hours after the incident as the Rock Island Police Department investigated what caused the passenger vehicle to roll over.

No information on the occupant or occupants of the car was released. The investigation is ongoing.

Tracking summer-like warmth this week

WQAD News -

Even though we’ve had some rainy days as of late, none of this rainfall has been overly heavy. The lack of heavy rain has done wonders for our river flooding situation, with the Mississippi River now out of major flood stage from Dubuque to the Quad Cities. This downward trend will continue for much of this week, and given the current trends, we remain on track to see the river fall below flood stage completely by the time we reach Memorial Day.

Modest falls will continue through Wednesday, with the Mississippi River generally falling another foot in most locations. This will also relieve tributary rivers and allow them to flow a bit more freely, reducing nuisance flooding in those impacted areas.

While we have a couple of isolated chances for showers and storms this week, the increasing temperatures will really help dry up some of the saturated farm fields around here. The farming community is quite behind in their planting schedules due to the recent heavy rains. With mostly dry conditions expected through at least Thursday, and rainfall remaining isolated, it should be a favorable week for this industry. Temperatures will soar into the 70s by Tuesday and then head for the 80s before next weekend.

Along with these warmer temperatures will come some humidity. Anytime the dew point rises above 60 degrees, it is considered noticeable by most. We’ll be well above that value by Thursday and remain there through the weekend. That added moisture will also work towards forming clusters of showers and thunderstorms at times.

The jet stream will not be favorable for severe weather until we reach the end of the week. That’s when a substantial dip is expected to take place in the Midwest, dividing the two air masses and pulling in enough energy for a possible severe storm outbreak from parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and even parts of the Dakotas. There are a lot of muddy details that have yet to work out, but this is something we’ll be tracking as we could see a few active storms of our own around here by next weekend.

What we hope doesn’t happen is that we get repeated heavy storm activity that lays down heavy rain. As of right now, it appears that pattern may set up for areas to our north, but this potential is something we’ll continue to track this week.

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

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Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Davenport ‘Mama Bear’ dares moms everywhere to do better

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Moms may be the real superheroes of our lives. One Davenport woman says motherhood has given her special powers to not just make her children's lives better, but to make the communities around us a better place.

"We realize we all have that power inside of us, we call it the Mama Bear, this intensity and even anger or rage we feel when our children have been wronged," said Leslie Klipsch, a writer, entrepreneur, and a mom to Oliver, 14, Eli, 12 and Sintayehu, 9. "She's a mama bear," agreed Klipsch's daughter Sintayehu. "She’s angry if someone wants to hurt me or Oliver and Eli. Like, 'Tell me if someone calls you names or wants to hurt you,' and I’m like, 'Okay...'" For Klipsch, these moments made her realize the immense power moms, and dads, can have. "Really as moms or parents, aunts, neighbors, we can have so much impact. I take that responsibility really seriously," she said of that Mama Bear instinct. Lucky for Leslie, she had someone to talk it out with: sister-in-law Tesi Klipsch, herself a mom of five. Suddenly, creating a better world for their kids, wasn't just about their own families anymore. "We can share that power, we can share that anger. We can share that passion beyond just the kids in our own house." Leslie said. Leslie and Tesi's conversations often went beyond motherhood, and even beyond states as Tesi moved to Michigan. But they were always energizing, and always had a social justice bent. Three years ago, they decided to hit the record button on their conversations. The Mama Bear Dares Podcast was born. Leslie and Tesi have been at it for more than 200 episodes already. The goal with each episode is to come together and learn something. The two readily admit on their podcast that they don't know it all, that they come from a place of privilege and are still learning how to be better moms, citizens, human beings. "It is important to intentionally show empathy and intentionally learn about people who might not look like you or share the same experiences like you so we can widen that circle of compassion," Leslie said. Every week, she and Tesi talk with each other via Skype or invite famous and ordinary sisters from other mamas on their show.

"We found that we were just surrounded by these amazing women who were doing incredible things in the world. We really wanted to learn more from them and then share those lessons and those stories with a wider audience as well," Leslie said.

"Once you know more, you do a little bit better," she explained.

Hundreds of moms celebrate Mother’s Day at Niabi Zoo

WQAD News -

COAL VALLEY, Illinois– It was a busy day at Niabi Zoo on Mother’s Day. Hundreds of people were lined up early in the morning for the free admission for moms.

Moms got the chance to spend some time with their kids, grandkids and families all while enjoying the hundreds of animals at the zoo. There were even some animals celebrating Mother’s Day themselves, including Colobus monkey Shirati and her new baby Katavi.

“It’s fantastic,” mother-of-two Emily Utley says. “I didn’t think there would be a lot of people here today because of the weather. it’s a little chilly. but the line was out the door when we got here. We’ll definitely see everything we can see today before Charlie runs out of energy.”

Charlie also told News 8 his favorite thing about his mom: giving her dandelions.

Listen: Child blurts ‘wow!’ after orchestra finishes rendition of Mozart composition

WQAD News -

BOSTON (AP) — A performing arts group has found the child who was literally wowed by a recent classical music concert.

The Handel & Haydn Society had just finished a rendition of Mozart’s “Masonic Funeral” at Boston’s Symphony Hall on Sunday when a youngster blurted out: “WOW!”

Listen here

The group was so charmed that they launched a search for the “Wow Child” with the help of audio of the moment captured by WCRB-FM. The child is 9-year-old Ronan Mattin, of New Hampshire, WGBH-FM reported Thursday. He attended the concert with his grandfather Stephen.

Ronan’s grandmother had seen a TV report that said the society was looking for the child.

Stephen Mattin said Ronan is on the autism spectrum and expresses himself differently from how other people do. He said his grandson is a huge music fan.

“I had told several people because I thought it was a funny story,” Stephen Mattin said. “About how he was expressing his admiration for the performance and put everybody in stitches.”

Handel & Haydn President David Snead said he is setting up a Skype meeting with Ronan and Harry Christophers, the society’s artistic director who was conducting the night of the performance. The society will invite Ronan and his family back to the venue in October, when the 2019-2020 season opens, for another Mozart performance conducted by Christophers.

Snead called Sunday’s experience one of the most wonderful moments he’s ever had in a concert hall.


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