Public Safety

Cedar Rapids closes roads, trails to prepare for rising river levels

National Weather Service projects Cedar River to crest at almost 17 feet Thursday

Cedar Rapids logo
Cedar Rapids logo

CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids is closing roads, parks and trails in low-lying areas in response to predicted elevated river levels.

The National Weather Service is projecting the Cedar River will crest at 16.5 feet Thursday, more than 4 feet higher than its current levels. As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service recorded the river at 12.31 feet, putting it just above the flood stage.

According to a news release, the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department will close parks and trail segments in affected areas Wednesday, unless water levels require them to be closed sooner. Barricades were placed in these areas Tuesday.

The closed facilities and trails include:

— Prairie Park Fishery, walking loop access and river boat ramp access closed

— Cheyenne Dog Park, closed at Cedar Bend Road

— Cedar Valley Nature Trail, closed between the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency and Tait Cummins trailhead

— Cedar Valley Nature Trail, closed from Eighth Avenue to 12th Avenue

— Ellis Trail, closed between Edgewood Road and Ellis Harbor

— Ellis Manhattan Pavilion

— Ellis Robbins Lake Road

— Ellis Harbor Road, closed to the river boat ramp

— Mohawk Boat ramp

— Seminole Valley Park

— Sac and Fox Trail

Roads that are closed include Otis Road SE, from Prairie Park Fishery to Cargill, and First Street NW, from Ellis Boulevard to O Avenue.

Ellis Road NW west of Edgewood Road NW will close Wednesday. Future road closures include Old River Road SW and Otis Road SE west of Indian Creek in Linn County.

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department planned to close boat ramps at 4 p.m. Tuesday to discourage watercraft from going on the river when it is above 13 feet, when there is an increased risk of accidents. Ramps will remain closed until the river levels drop below 13 feet, which the National Weather Service predicts will happen Sunday.

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According to the release, the city also will plug underground storm sewer drains in low-lying areas, place water pumps nearby and set concrete cylinders over low-lying stormwater inlets.

“The Public Works Department will continue to monitor river levels and will respond as necessary. The city will be able to quickly build to an increased level of protection if needed,” the release said.

Comments: (319) 398-8371; brooklyn.draisey@thegazette.com

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