Public Safety

Cedar Rapids returning to normal as floodwater recedes

Floodwaters cover the course at Jones Golf Course in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. The course is partially under water due to flooding of Prairie Creek and the Cedar River. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Floodwaters cover the course at Jones Golf Course in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. The course is partially under water due to flooding of Prairie Creek and the Cedar River. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — As the Cedar River creeps back down closer to regular levels, having crested early Monday at less than 16 feet, community amenities affected by floodwater also should begin returning to normal.

By noon Monday, the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids had dropped to about 15.2 feet. The river had crested overnight at 15.55 feet, about half a foot below major flood stage and nearly two feet below what was predicted last week.

The river is forecast to drop below minor flood stage — 12 feet — by Wednesday.

“The city had protection measures in place for an 18-foot crest, which addressed flood risk and prevented flood damage,” according to a city news release.

“The city has not found or received reports of any flood damage sustained over the weekend.”

Temporary flood protection measures are starting to be removed by the public works department, and within the next few days concrete cones, pumps and plugs will be removed, according to the city statement.

Closures as of Sunday include these roads, among others:

l The intersection of Q Avenue NW and Eighth Street NW

l Old River Road SW from Ely Road SW to Sunshine Street SW

l Otis Road SE between Cargill and Fish Hatchery

l Ellis Road NW from River Bluff Drive NW to Covington Road NW

l A Street SW from 22nd Avenue SW to the Linn County Solid Waste facility

l 21st Avenue between C Street SW to A Street SW.

Additional roads will open as the river continues to recede, according to the city. Updated information can be found on the city’s website at cedar-rapids.org.

On Wednesday, the city will reopen boat ramps, which have been closed since Sept. 4 amid safety concerns surrounding rising water, according to a city news release.

Cedar Rapids park and trail closures include:

l Jones Golf Course

l Cheyenne Off-Leash Area (dog park)

l Prairie Park Fishery

l Robbins Lake

l Seminole Valley Park

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l Lakeview and Valley View park pavilions are closed for the remainder of this season, with exception to special events already scheduled. Manhattan and Mohawk park pavilions are scheduled to reopen by Saturday.

l Cedar River Trail closures include the pedestrian walkway by the federal courthouse under the Eighth Avenue bridge and from Tait Cummins to Mount Trashmore.

l Ellis Trail is closed from Edgewood Road NW to Ellis Harbor

l Sac and Fox Trail.

Several Linn County parks remained closed as of Monday including:

l Pinicon Ridge Park-Flying Squirrel campground and watercraft concession

l Matsell Bridge Natural Area, lower campground

l Matsell Bridge Natural Area, equestrian campground

l North Cedar Natural Area and boat ramp

l South Cedar Natural Area and boat ramp

l Wakpicada Natural Area.

Ryan Schlader, community outreach specialist with Linn County Conservation, said some park areas could begin to reopen as soon as later this week, but that will depend on water levels.

“We aren’t expecting any significant damage from the flooding, but we won’t know for sure until the water recedes,” he said in an email. “Mitigation from past flooding has allowed for an easier transition in reopening our public areas.”

Steve Estenson, Linn County risk manager, said county buildings were relatively unaffected by the flood.

l Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

Reporter B.A. Morelli contributed to this article.

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