Public Safety

Cedar River crest forecast drops again to 14.4 feet

That still leaves Cedar Rapids in moderate flood stage

The 16th Avenue SE Bridge is seen Sept. 25 in Cedar Rapids. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
The 16th Avenue SE Bridge is seen Sept. 25 in Cedar Rapids. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — When forecasters predicted at the start of the week that the Cedar River would crest in the major flood stage this weekend, they were quick to note that prediction could change as the week wore on.

And has it.

The projection Thursday calls for a river crest of 14.4 feet — over 5 feet less than initially thought, though still considered to be in the moderate flood stage that begins at 14 feet.

The city of Cedar Rapids already has enacted protections against a crest of 18 feet, including installing plugs in underground storm sewer systems, placing cones over manholes, pre-positioning pumps and road closure barricades and building temporary sand barriers behind the Cedar Rapids Police Department. In addition, some low-lying streets, trails and parks have been closed and boat ramps barricaded.

The city said no additional streets were closed overnight and crews were working through the night to monitor the river levels and the precautionary measures.

The National Weather Service predicted Thursday that the Cedar will enter the moderate flood stage before noon Saturday and then rise to 14.4 feet by about midnight Saturday. The forecast calls for the river crest to dip below 10 feet — and out of any flood stage — on Tuesday morning.

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