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Cedar Rapids Flooding: What you need to know (as of Saturday)

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The Gazette

The Cedar River is projected to crest at 25.3 feet in Cedar Rapids on Monday evening. Officials are calling the likelihood of flooding “probable.” Here is information area residents should know:

Q: What is the forecast for the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids?

A: According to the National Weather Service, the river was at about 9.5 feet on Friday evening. Current projections show the river reaching about 16 feet — major flood stage — by Sunday afternoon and cresting at 25.3 feet Monday evening.

Q: When is the city’s next news conference and how can I see it?

A: City officials are holding a news conference to update residents at 10 a.m. each day until the threat passes. Today’s conference is at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena, 1100 Rockford Road SW. Go to www.thegazette.com to see KCRG-TV9 live stream coverage of the conference.

Q: How can I find out if I live or work in an area that could be impacted by flooding?

A: See our map on Page A3, which includes directions for accessing an interactive, online map.

Q: Is there a place I can park my car if I’m in a flooded area?

A: Yes. Parking has been made available in the parking lots at Westdale Mall, 2600 Edgewood Road SW, and Ladd Library, 3750 Williams Boulevard SW.

Q: Are volunteers needed to help sandbag or take other precautions?

A: Yes. The United Way of East Central Iowa is coordinating many of the volunteer opportunities. Visit www.uweci.org to sign up and learn more. Also, the city has sandbag stations set up at three locations — the former Kmart parking lot at 2727 16th Ave. SW, Ellis Park Pavilion with access via Zika Avenue NW and at the intersection of Fifth Street NW and K Avenue SW. City officials said Friday the sandbagging effort at NewBo City Market was at capacity with traffic congestion. Sandbags are free to those who need them.

Q: What should I do if I need help?

A: Call 2-1-1. If you are unable to do so, call (319) 739-4211 or 1-866-469-2211.

Q: If the need to evacuate arises, how will I know what to do and how will I be informed?

A: Cedar Rapids Fire Chief Mark English said incident management personnel plan to look at the latest flood projections and data at 8 a.m. Sunday to determine if evacuations are warranted. Information is to be released on the city’s website.

Q: When might the city begin closing streets in preparation for possible flooding?

A: City street closures have already begun, and additional closures are planned throughout the weekend. Among the streets closed are Otis Road, Ellis Road west of Edgewood, Third Street SE at Eighth Avenue SE, and Third Street SE at 16th Avenue. Eighth Avenue SE between Second Street and Fifth Street SE is down to one lane each direction. City officials have said motorists should pay heed for intermittent street closures to facilitate the construction of a temporary flood protection system. A full list of closures is available on the city website.

Q: What are the safety concerns?

A: City officials have stressed if a road is closed or if a road is covered in water, turn around and find another way. Entering roads covered by water is dangerous. Also, people should stay away from areas where flood preparations are underway to help avoid congestion, particularly Eighth Avenue SE.

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: The Cedar Rapids city website at www.cedar-rapids.org is being updated with information on street closings and evacuations. Residents can also sign up for text alerts on the city website. To read the latest coverage from The Gazette, visit www.thegazette.com/flood2016.

For all of The Gazette's Flood 2016 coverage, please visit our flood coverage center.

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