CEDAR RAPIDS — Crews responded early Tuesday to secure a sewer backup caused by rising floodwater near NewBo City Market.
Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett was on the scene Tuesday morning as dump trucks, backhoes and other heavy equipment worked to plug the storm sewer and position pumps to address rising water on the dry side of the nearby wall of HESCO barriers.
The city has a gravity storm sewer system, so crews have established sandbags and large cement cones on top of manhole covers near the rising Cedar River to prevent water from backing up into the streets.
Corbett said one of those measures failed Tuesday, but crews seemed to have the issue under control.
“What they’re trying to do is address it while the water still is low, because if it get’s too high they can’t get back in and plug the manhole covers in the storm sewer,” he said. “They’re in there shoring that up, getting the pumps and we should be OK.”
The backup occurred sometime Tuesday morning along the flood wall near Tornado’s Grub and Pub.
While the sewer backup was unfortunate, Corbett said things like that are to be expected as the Cedar River nears its 22-foot crest.
Most importantly, the levee is holding, he said.
“The levee’s looking good,” he said. “Everyone’s just a little nervous, we’re all fidgety. We want it to work, we think it’s going to work, we hope it’s going to work, we pray it’s going to work. We’re down to just this last 24-hour countdown.”