Government

Cedar River set to crest at 17.5 feet this afternoon

City crews work on installing HESCO Barriers along the Cedar River near Seventh Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Sep. 24, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
City crews work on installing HESCO Barriers along the Cedar River near Seventh Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Sep. 24, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
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The slow, methodical climb of the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids over the past four days is set to peak at 17.5 feet — which is considered major flood stage — this evening.

The river, as of noon, was measuring 17.31 feet.

The city has ensured the public that protection measures are in place for a river level of 18 feet.

Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz pointed to the Sinclair levee, pump stations in NewBo, and the McGrath Amphitheatre as examples of infrastructure investments that are paying dividends in the flood fight.

“These are all coming together and making a difference,” Pomeranz said. “At this point, we’d be sandbagging. The infrastructure saves time, dollars and stress on the community. Concern and anxiety to some degree is minimized.”

More than $20 million has been invested in permanent Cedar Rapids flood protection infrastructure to date.

Forecasts show the river level dropping quickly after the crest, exiting major flood stage on Wednesday, and ultimately returning below the action stage of 10 feet by the weekend.

However, future rainfall could adjust this forecast. The current weather outlook for Eastern Iowa, according to the National Weather Service, shows rain reaching Cedar Rapids this afternoon, but quickly moving East by the evening.

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Additional rainfall is expected in the area on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. This could effect the river’s forecast.

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