Cedar Rapids Wins Battle as River Hits Crest

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Thousands of hours of effort to fill sandbags and temporary barriers to shore up the flood levee in Cedar Rapids appeared to have paid off…. The Cedar River crested Tuesday morning at 22 feet – 9 feet below the 2008 record. City manager Jeff Pomeranz says they’ve won the first battle.

The 9.8-mile system of Hesco barriers and earthen berms was largely holding back the Cedar River, but some buildings and homes near the river will likely have water in their basements. City workers and contractors worked Monday night into Tuesday morning to pump out water that seeped through the barriers and came up through the sewer system. Firefighters and police also rescued a woman who was swept away Monday afternoon by the river.

Now that the river has crested, Pomeranz says the issue right now is what is happening below ground.

Five thousand households were asked to evacuate due to the flood threat – they’re not being allowed to return to their homes just yet.

The river is starting to fall in Cedar Rapids and should reach below flood stage by Sunday night. The Flood Warning for the Cedar River remains in effect through Sunday.

(audio courtesy of Radio Iowa; photo courtesy of Cedar Rapids Fire Department Facebook page)