Many residents in eastern Iowa are filling sandbags and preparing for the effects of torrential rain Wednesday night. Much of the upper Midwest endured storms that just wouldn’t stop producing rain. Totals exceeded half a foot in many locations and even led to a flash flood emergency in Floyd County, Iowa. Residents in nearby Greene, Iowa had to be evacuated from their homes.
All the water from these storms is now working its way downstream and threatening to cause major flooding along the Cedar River. The river is expected to crest in Waterloo Saturday night at 22 feet. That would be the second-highest crest on record, only behind the historic flood of 2008.
As the floodwaters continue to move down river, major flooding is also expected in Cedar Rapids. Right now, the National Weather Service is forecasting the Cedar River to crest at 24.1 feet in Cedar Rapids early Tuesday morning. This would also be the second-highest crest on record.
In Cedar Rapids, the Cedar River flows right through the heart of downtown and several neighborhoods bordering the river are susceptible to flooding. The downtown core was inundated with water during the historic flood of 2008. Although the current forecast is 7 feet lower than the record, flooding is still expected. This is a computer-generated image from the National Weather Service of what areas will see flooding under the current forecast of 24 feet. However, this image shows what would happen if there are no flood protection measures in place.
Cedar Rapids officials are deploying portable dams, pumps and barriers in advance of the expected onslaught of water. Residents are also being asked to assist with sandbagging efforts. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad made a disaster proclamation for three Iowa counties Thursday and said state resources will be made available to cities as they respond to the flooding.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Corey Christiansen