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Facts and Figures: Cedar Rapids Flood 2016

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[vc_column_text]After predictions of flood levels in Cedar Rapids as high as 25 feet, the Cedar River relented and crested Tuesday, Sept. 27 at just under 22 feet—still the second biggest flood in Cedar Rapids history. For reference: The 2008 flood, the biggest one on the books, hit 31 feet; major flood stage is 16 feet. For days, areas of Cedar Rapids were under evacuation order and patrolled by law enforcement and members of the National Guard. Despite high water, most of the city was protected by temporary flood barriers and scraped by without the devastation that followed the 2008 flood.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”107538″ img_size=”full”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1475529189448{padding-right: 50px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Timeline

Thursday, Sept. 22: Cedar Rapids placed under flood warning
Friday, Sept. 23: Gov. Terry Branstad signed disaster proclamation for 13 Iowa counties
Sunday, Sept. 25: Evacuation zone went into effect
Tuesday, Sept. 27: River crested just under 22 feet
Wednesday, Sept. 28: Evacuation area decreased
Friday, Sept. 30: Evacuation zone opened to flood-impacted residents and businesses
Saturday, Oct. 1: Evacuation zone opened to public[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Historic Crests of the Cedar River

June 13, 2008: 31.12’
Sept. 27, 2016: 21.97’
June 1, 1851: 20’
Mar. 18, 1929: 20’
Mar. 31, 1961: 19.66’
Apr. 4, 1993: 19.27’
Apr. 4, 1933: 18.6’
Apr. 10, 1965: 18.51’
July 25, 1999: 18.31’
May 27, 2004: 18.30’

Data via National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Flood Protection Efforts

• 10 miles of sand and earthen barriers
• 250,000 sandbags
• Cost to build: $5-6 million

Cedar Rapids Areas Impacted

• Cedar Rapids Downtown
• New Bohemia
• Czech Village
• Time Check[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]”We’ve been staying dry, which was super exciting. What we have learned in past floods and flash floods is that we are vulnerable. In ’08 we got nailed pretty bad. So we were very cautious and took a lot of steps that came with a price tag … It isn’t just that we lost a week of business, which is a big hit. Having to cancel shows is a pretty big deal because we don’t do that many a year. It’s also about regaining consumer confidence. For a lot of businesses that were impacted by the flood there’s going to be an uphill battle to get everyone back.”

— Casey Prince. Executive Director of Theatre Cedar Rapids. Prince said he hopes enough people decide to come down to take in a show or event over the next few months to help the theater recover by the end of the year.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]”People are very shy to put their businesses down here until permanent flood protection is in place and this [recent flood] reinforces that fear … I think the political forces around a major scare like this are going to spur long-term solutions. As a result, I’m optimistic that this is going to push the city to push the federal and state government to make sure they don’t have to go through $5 or $6 million for temporary protection and make an investment in a permanent fix.”

— Mel Andringa. Co-Director of Legion Arts. Andringa said their buildings took some on some water in the basement and a few shows had to be rescheduled or moved to other venues due to the flood.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]“This house is part of the history of Cedar Rapids and I’m a person who likes to keep their history. The area doesn’t have the warm, neighborhood feeling like before 2008, but it has a lot of history. My husband’s grandmother told us once she could remember when this [C Avenue] was a dirt road and could remember watching the circus come into town from the big picture window.”

— Josie Yuza. Yuza’s Czech Village house, which was built by her husband’s great grandfather in 1895, saw water fill the first floor during the 2008 flood. This time around the house stayed dry.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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