CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – The City of Cedar Rapids published an updated list of road closures Monday morning.
The city said flood protection measures are in place and holding which include covering manholes with concrete cones, pumps, sand-filled HESCOS and plugging underground storm sewer pipes.
-Edgewood Rd NW fully closed to all traffic between Glass Rd and River Bluff Drive-Intersection of C Street SW and Bowling Street SW-Ely Road closure at Old River Road-Otis Rd-Ellis Blvd Between Ellis Ln and 18th St SW-Ellis Rd west of Edgewood Rd-A St SW-Bowling St between A and C St SW-Old River Rd-1st St NW between E Ave and Penn Ave NW
Recently Opened:-Bowling St SW from 33rd Ave to 41st Ave-Hawkeye Downs Rd from 6th St to J St SW-J St SW
-Cheyenne Dog Park closed-Trail at Cedar Lake closed-Trail from Ellis Park to Edgewood Rd. closed-Prairie Park Fishery Trail closed-Cedar Valley Trail from A St. to Tait Cummins closed-Sac & Fox Trail from Cole St. to Rosedale Ct. -Cedar Valley Trail from 7th Ave to 12th Ave Bridge
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — Sand-filled barriers and flooded roadways popped up in Cedar Rapids where flooding sometimes seems to be city’s fifth season.
The city knew flooding was on its way and by Friday 24-hour work shifts had started to prepare temporary flood protection measures.
By late Monday night, the Cedar River reached 18.21 feet and was expected to crest at 18.3 feet overnight. If it reached 18.3 feet, it would tie the tenth highest crest in the city’s history.
Over the weekend, the weather service predicted a river crest of 18.6 feet, 3 feet higher than anticipated in the earlier part of last week. In response, city workers on Monday placed a row of sand-filled HESCO barriers in low-lying areas on the west side of the river, according to a city news release. A portion of those barriers, Winter said, were placed along the river near the McGrath Amphitheatre and behind the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
Though current levels are considered major flood stage for the city, anxieties weren’t as high this time around.
As the Cedar spilled out of its banks filling parts of Ellis Boulevard with water, the river still had its way of bringing people out, curious to see the flood levels for themselves.
“I’ll tell you what that Cedar River is moving pretty fast hopefully it doesn’t come up anymore,” Roger Jensen, of Cedar Rapids, said.
Jensen said after experiencing the flooding before, he had to come out and see what it looked like for himself. In 2008, Jensen experienced the worst the river has ever given.
City workers also plugged additional storm drains and manholes, closed off the underground storm sewer system to prevent water from backing up and flooding streets or businesses, and stationed additional pumps in the Time Check Neighborhood, Czech Village District and Kingston Village District.
“We lost everything we owned, the house had 3 1/2 feet of water on the first floor,” Jensen said. “[It] blew the basement walls out. Destroyed it.”
“Late last week, a lot of the ice that we still had on parts of the Cedar River near Cedar Rapids released and flowed down river,” she said. “And there have been some smaller ice packs that have released between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo that we’ve seen come through.
Cedar Rapids Public Works Director Jen Winter said the city is confident that the flood protection measures currently put in place will protect homes and businesses to the crest level.
“I think people are pretty calm. Even though we are in major flood stage 16, 17, 18 foot is becoming a little more common and people are getting used to it,” Winter said. “I think [it’s] trusting that we have some of the permanent flood protection and some of those temporary measures put in place that will keep people dry.”
Ellis Blvd is flooded in some spots in Cedar Rapids where the Cedar River is getting close to cresting at 18.3 ft. Currently its at 18.09 ft pic.twitter.com/yZIoacMR9J
On top of the permanent flood protection already put in place, Hesco barriers, that are filled with sand, were put up in low-lying areas but most of the prep came underground.
“The majority of the work we had to do was just plugging sewers and setting up pumps so we can pump any water that comes into those storm sewer systems behind the plugs we can pump it back into the river,” Winter said.
The rising water was still an eerie sight for Jensen who said he never wants to experience another ’08 again. But if he was confident in the city to protect people.
“I think so,” he said. “They’ve been through it enough times that they’re responding quickly and know how to respond and where to respond.”
Winter said the city may leave some of the above ground protection up longer than needed due to the wet spring that is expected.