CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – September 23, 2016 – The Cedar River continues to be projected to crest at 24 feet on Monday, Sept. 26, into Tuesday morning. Preparations are continuing as we work to protect our City from predicted high water levels and probable flooding. Staff from Public Safety, Sewer, Engineering, Traffic, and Streets Divisions have been quickly assembling equipment, staff, and resources to continue proactive flood protection measures. To date, the City has already deployed, and will continue to deploy, pumps and sewer plugs, and identifying sandbagging areas.
Today City crews will be taking active measures in low-lying areas on both sides of the river. This will include the installation of Hesco barriers and earthen berms. Residents will see this work taking place on the east side between 1st Avenue to 16th Avenue; and on the west side between Time Check Czech Village in the coming days. The City will likely close roads periodically throughout the day for this work. We ask the public to be patient and find alternate routes where necessary, and leave area open and clear for contractors and City crews to allow them to safely and efficiently complete their work.
This morning, crews closed the 8th Avenue Bridge to deploy and install Hesco Barriers. Some road closures have already begun in some of our low-lying areas, including Otis Road, and Ellis Road west of Edgewood. These will be added to the City’s website as additional roads are closed. More roads will be closed starting on Saturday. The public is advised to heed all road closure signs and barricades. Residents are reminded to not drive or walk through standing water.
Residents in low lying areas who anticipate flooding can park cars in the Ladd Library parking lot on the west side or in the Westdale mall lot in front of the former Von Maur.
Sandbagging materials are being supplied to residents and businesses by the City free of charge. Sandbagging stations have been set up near the New Bo market on 11th Street, at Ellis Park pavilion (please enter park from Zika Avenue) and 5th St and K Ave NW. Volunteers are welcome to help fill bags, and are asked to bring shovels.
The City is using every resource available to protect our city and keep citizens from harm. For low-lying areas, we encourage all residents and business to take measures to protect their properties. Based on current projections, we are preparing for approximately 6-8 feet less than what we experienced during the 2008 flood. Lower levels of properties will be impacted first, including basements, window wells, and floor drains.
We have already seen many members of the community step up and ask to volunteer. We appreciate everyone’s efforts, and continue to encourage volunteers – or those who need assistance from volunteers – to call United Way’s 211.