Cedar River crest elevated to 25.3 feet

Crest in Cedar Rapids still predicted for Monday night

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The predicted crest of the Cedar River has been elevated to top out at 25.3 feet in Cedar Rapids on Monday evening.

The National Weather Service revised its projection at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, up from 24 feet. Cedar Rapids spokeswoman Maria Johnson said a temporary flood protection system planned to protect to 24 feet will be able to withstand to 26 feet river level.

The predicted crest would be the second highest on the river, but well below the record of 31.12 feet in June 2008.

Eastern Iowa got slammed with rain over the last 24 hours, said Jessica Brooks, hydrologist with the National Weather Service. The southwestern portion of Benton County received 6-8 inches of rainfall and portions of the Maquoketa and Wapsipinicon River basins received 7-10 inches of rain.

Brooks said Cedar Rapids had a “bull’s-eye” over it and received roughly 3-5 inches of rain.

However, Brooks said river levels in Cedar Rapids will be impacted more by water levels upstream than by rainfall.

“We’re not looking at a whole lot of rainfall in the next few days,” she said. “There could be some changes here as we see how the water is routing through the smaller tributaries. It’s possible it could go down maybe a couple of feet.”

Brooks said she believes 24 feet is a “pretty good forecast,” but said it could change somewhat.

“The next day or so is going to be pretty critical,” she said.

Cedar Rapids could get some rain Saturday evening, but Brooks said it won’t be significant. After that, dry conditions are forecast for the area.

According to a City of Cedar Rapids news release, Otis Road and Ellis Road west of Edgewood Road are currently closed, and the city is also closing Eighth Avenue SE from Second Street to Fifth Street SE. The bridge will remain open at this time, the city said.

Reporter B.A. Morelli contributed to this story.

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

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