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Protections hold as Cedar River reaches crest, but Cedar Rapids still on high alert


Workers add dirt to a levee on the riverfront near the Penford Products plant on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. -- photo by Lauren Shotwell.
Workers add dirt to a levee on the riverfront near the Penford Products plant on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. — photo by Lauren Shotwell.

The Cedar River in Cedar Rapids reached a crest of 22 feet today and is expected to slowly work its way back down, falling below flood stage Sunday evening, according to predictions from the National Weather Service.

“We’re in the final countdown,” said Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett, but warned that the city is not yet out of the danger zone.

On Monday night, crews worked to pump out water that seeped through temporary flood controls and came up from the saturated ground and through storm sewers, city officials said during a Tuesday morning press conference. Many properties near the river may have water seep into basements despite flood protection efforts.

“There’s tremendous pressure by this water underground,” said Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz. “The enemy now is what we don’t see. And we’re going to see in the coming days more water in the streets coming from the sewer system and that can be just as dangerous.”

The city has not yet announced when residents and businesses will be able to return to their properties and is encouraging people to stay away from the evacuated areas, which are still at risk.

Classes in the Cedar Rapids School District, Xavier High School, and Metro Catholic Schools — with the exception of St. Joseph in Marion — have been canceled through Friday. Cedar Rapids public transportation services are also canceled for the time being.

For updated flood information, visit the City of Cedar Rapids website or Facebook page.


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