It was a terrific accomplishment for city leaders to obtain significant federal funding toward Cedar River flood protection structures. However, let’s not forget the 2002 Indian Creek flood that occurred six years before the 2008 Cedar River flood.
The existing Indian Creek levee has serious design omissions and will not protect Sun Valley in southeast Cedar Rapids from flooding.
The Sun Valley levee extends 1,100 feet parallel with the creek and Cottage Grove Parkway. Its east end connects to high elevation land and enclosure is provided at that end. However, the west end of the levee does not provide enclosure because it does not connect to any high elevation land. It’s construction stops at the end of Cottage Grove Parkway without providing enclosure.
Eventually, when the creek levels are 3 or 4 feet below the top of that west end of the levee, floodwater will be flowing into Sun Valley from the west and reflooding the 25 to 30 homes that flooded in 2002.
If this writer can borrow some logic from the July 7 Gazette article by James Q. Lynch “UI hydrologist: Build flood protection for future, not past,” it should be stated that the existing levee is not designed for either the past or future flood protection needs of Sun Valley.