Government

Cedar Rapids waits as flood predictions stabilize

Wettest August in 11 years

Water of the Cedar River laps at the top of the boat ramp at Sumner Park across from the federal courthouse in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.  (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Water of the Cedar River laps at the top of the boat ramp at Sumner Park across from the federal courthouse in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The projected crest of the Cedar River has held steady at 17 feet, according to the National Weather Service, so city officials say they will continue to monitor projections closely but are not planning any additional action at this point.

The river is projected to crest on Sunday.

The city has executed protocols to protect an 18-foot river elevation, a point at which low lying properties are threatened and the storm sewer system can become inundated.

Protective measures include above ground barriers, such as temporary berms and sand barriers, and underground measures to close off the storm sewer system from rising river water, according to the city.

“The city will hold this position of 18-feet protection for Sept. 6,” the city said in a news release on Thursday. “Staff will remain in close contact with the National Weather Service and will continue to evaluate the appropriate level of protection and make necessary changes based on new predictions.”

The city is at the ready to increase the protection level to 20 feet, at which point more above-ground barriers would be installed.

Road closures in low-lying areas are still currently in effect; however, some streets in the Time Check area have reopened, including Ellis Boulevard NW and First Street NW.

More information is available on the city’s website at cedar-rapids.org.

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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is calling last month the wettest August in 11 years, citing the latest Water Summary Update.

The agency reports Iowa received 6.19 inches of rainfall in August, 1.99 inches above the 30-year climatological average.

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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