Since 1851, the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has only surpassed 20 feet twice. The first was in June 2008. The second was on Monday morning. As of Monday night, the river has reached 21 feet and is still rising. It is expected to crest at 23 feet Tuesday morning before slowly falling the rest of the week.
Cedar Rapids residents spent the weekend filling sandbags and trying to protect their community from another devastating flood. Fortunately, the current flood is not expected to match the historic flooding of 2008. The Cedar River flows right through the downtown core of Cedar Rapids and the last time it rose this high, it just kept going. A major flood on the river in Cedar Rapids is classified as anything above 16 feet. In 2008, the water level almost doubled that – eventually cresting at an unbelievable 31.12 feet. Water inundated much of the city and left the community with a recovery effort that was still going when the waters began rising again over the weekend.
Torrential rain fell last week across northern Iowa with some communities seeing more than 8 inches of rain. All that moisture has steadily been making its way downstream and is now flowing past Cedar Rapids.
Cedar Rapids has requested more than 5,000 residents to evacuate their homes and has closed all bridges downtown. The city has constructed temporary flood control measures, but it says it cannot guarantee the public’s safety if they remain in evacuated areas. The American Red Cross has set up shelters for evacuees in Cedar Rapids and other communities dealing with flooding.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Corey Christiansen