Cedar River to reach flood stage in Cedar Rapids today

City staff say they're prepared

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The Gazette

The Cedar River is projected to reach flood stage later today, and the river’s crest is predicted to reach 23 feet by early Tuesday morning.

But through several days of sandbagging, establishing HESCO barriers and evacuating low-lying neighborhoods, officials in Cedar Rapids are confident no stone has been left unturned regarding flood preparations.

The Cedar Rapids City Council on Sunday held a special council meeting at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena to get a quick briefing on flood protection efforts taking place across the community.

According to the National Weather Service, the Cedar River will reach about 16 feet — major flood stage — by Sunday evening and crest around 7 a.m. Tuesday at 23 feet.

Jen Winter, Cedar Rapids public works director, said the large majority of any remaining flood protections should be in place by the end of the day.

In addition to HESCO barriers, earthen berms sand bags, the city also has increased first responder presence, has closed down bridges and streets and is stationing pumps at key locations.

“Everybody has done a really good job and we feel confident by the time the flood comes up we will have done everything that we need to do to protect our city,” Winter said.

Close to 6,000 parcels have been included in the city’s evacuation plan — which accounts for levels up to 28 feet — and while evacuations are not mandatory, they are strongly advised for the safety of residents and first responders who would have to act in time of potential emergency.

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

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