Epic Resurgence

Five years ago today, the Cedar River crested in Cedar Rapids at 31.12 feet, 19 feet above flood stage, 11 feet above the previous record crest in 1929. In Cedar Rapids, approximately 1,300 city blocks were affected by the flooding. Charles City, Waterloo/Cedar Falls, La Porte City, Vinton, Palo, Iowa City/Coralville, Decorah and many more communities were affected by rising rivers and creeks. Here is a look back at our coverage from those days in June 2008.


KCRG-TV9 Minute-by-Minute Coverage

KCRG-TV9 Coverage by County

 Tuesday, June 10

Black Hawk County

Wednesday, June 11

Butler County

Thursday, June 12

Dubuque County

Friday, June 13

Johnson County 

Saturday, June 14

Jones County

Sunday, June 15

Linn County

Monday, June 16

Tama County 

Tuesday, June 17



Volunteers build a sandbag wall in a backyard on Normandy Drive in Iowa City on Saturday, June 7, 2008. (Courtney Sargent/The Gazette)

Wednesday, June 4:
-Coralville Lake officials warn that water could overtake spillway, boost outflow
-UI evacuates Mayflower Residence Hall
-Sandbagging underway in Iowa City, Coralville

Thursday, June 5:
-Iowa City, Coralville neighborhoods take floodwater
-Dubuque Street closed

Friday, June 6:
-Local officials say 1993 flood levels expected

Sunday, June 8: 
-Iowa River surpasses flood stage of 22 feet

Monday, June 9: 
-Cedar River predicted crest: 20 feet in Cedar Rapids
-Johnson County officials say 500-year flood now expected

Water pours over the emergency spillway at the Coralville Lake Tuesday, June 10, 2008 near Iowa City. According to the Army Corps of Engineers the water officially topped the spillway at 8:30 p.m. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

Tuesday, June 10: (watch June 10th video)
-CR braces for flood, sandbagging, building dirt levees
-Flyers passed out in CR Neighborhoods warning people to prepare for possible -evacuations
-Coralville Lake goes over spillway in evening, floodgates opened wide
-Iowa River predicted crest at 30.5 feet in Iowa City
-Coralville Lake predicted crest at 715.7 feet above sea level
-Evacuations ordered in Cedar Falls downtown area
-Evacuations ordered in Waterloo downtown area
-Railroad Bridge in Waterloo Collapses
-218 is closed south of Waverly
-Evacuations ordered in Vinton
-Palo Voluntary Evacuation at 4:00pm
-Cedar Falls mandatory evacuations begin
-Vinton evacuates
-Coralville Reservoir tops emergency spillway

Vehicles line the Fourth St. bridge as flood waters forced officials to call for an organized evacuation of the downtown area of Waterloo, Iowa on Tuesday June 10, 2008. The Cedar River was expected to flood the downtown area before cresting. (AP Photo/Waterloo Courier,Rick Tibbott)

Wednesday, June 11: (watch June 11th video)
-Cedar River predicted crest at 24.7 feet in Cedar Rapids    
-Pumps fail in Southwest Cedar Rapids
-Water Begins coming up through storm sewers in CR
-Cedar River crest forecast gauge fails
-Mandatory evacuations begin in the early morning hours for SW CR neighborhoods
-Downtown bridges close in evening
-Mandatory evacuation ordered for 500-year flood plane in CR
-Iowa River predicted crest at 30.9 feet in Iowa City
-Travel discouraged in downtown Waterloo
-Water Begins coming up through storm sewers in Cedar Rapids
-Osborn Park Area mandatory Evacuation -5:30 am
-South Dubuque Street Exit Closed (7:25pm)
-16th Avenue Bridge closes in Cedar Rapids
-Mandatory evacuations continue in Waterloo
-Chelsea evacuates (11:00am)
-Cedar Falls reports the river is falling (noon)
-Waterloo reports Cedar River is cresting (noon)
-Cedar County announces voluntary evacuations along Cedar River
-Mandatory evacuation for the entire City of Palo
-CR announces fears of a 500-year-flood crest (2:00pm)
-1st Avenue, 3rd Avenue, & 8th Avenue Bridges Close in Cedar Rapids
-Gov. Culver visits Cedar Rapids
-Mandatory evacuation of all people in the 500-Year-flood-plain in Cedar Rapids (2:15pm)
-KCRG-TV9 begins continuous coverage (2:50pm)
-Benton County Jail surrounded by water
-Vinton loses power around 8:00 or 9:00 a.m.
-Inmates help sandbag jail in Vinton
-500 homes and businesses flooded in Waverly
-1000 without power in Waverly
-St. Luke's and Mercy prepare for flood related injuries (3:30 p.m.)
-Exit ramps in Cedar Rapids closed (3:30 p.m.)
-Linn County boil order issued for people with flooded private wells
-Water expected to spill over Coralville Res spillway for at least a week
-Cedar Rapids Animal Control evacuated (4:00 p.m.)
-FEMA representative arrives in Cedar Rapids
-Police begin to block off neighborhoods and main roads in Cedar Rapids
-Coralville Reservoir ups output to 33,000 Cubic Feed Per Second

Water rushes over the Third Avenue bridge Thursday morning, June 12, 2008. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Thursday, June 12: (watch June 12th video)
-Heavy rains produce flash floods in Cedar Rapids
-Predicted crest in Cedar Rapids now 32 feet
-8,000 evacuated in Cedar Rapids, including Quaker, jail, downtown
-May’s Island, downtown CR, neighborhoods inundated
-Volunteers sandbag, and help save, CR’s last water well
-Thousands, including downtown CR, without power
-2 Red Cross emergency shelters open in Linn County

Volunteers form a human chain to carry sandbags for the effort of protecting Mercy Medical Center from the rising flood waters early Friday, June 13, 2008, in southeast Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

-National Guard arrives in Cedar Rapids
-Mercy Medical Center in CR evacuated overnight
-I-380 restricted one lane through Cedar Rapids
-Iowa City’s Parkview Terrace neighborhood evacuated in middle of night
-Evacuations later in day at Iowa City's Idyllwild neighborhood, Gilbert Street business area
-Coralville’s Edgewater Drive neighborhood evacuated
-Breach in CRANDIC rail bed sends Iowa River onto Coralville strip

A Coast Guard boat powers its way down a flooded street Friday, June 13, 2008, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Friday, June 13: (watch June 13th video)
-Cedar crests at 31.1 feet in CR at 10:15 a.m., almost 20 feet above flood stage                    
-25,000 evacuated, including Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids
-Water use limited to drinking in Cear Rapids
-Interstate 380 closes at Iowa River bridge
-U.S. Coast Guard arrives in Cedar Rapids
-Coralville’s Fourth Avenue neighborhood evacuated
-UI abandons non-essential operations, including classes; evacuates flood-prone buildings
-Iowa River passes 28.52-foot record, predicted crest: 33 feet
-Johnson County Administration Building closed


Water touches the high-water mark on the Coralville Reservoir on Sunday afternoon, June 15, 2008. The Coralville lake crested at 5:00 a.m. this morning at a new record of 716.97 feet above sea level. The old record was set in 1993 with a level of 716.71 feet. (Jonathan D. Woods/The Gazette)

Saturday, June 14: (watch June 14th video)
-Linn and Johnson counties declared federal disaster areas
-Coralville Lake level passes record of 716.71 feet above sea level
-Huge volunteer sandbag effort at UI, Iowa City, Coralville
-Nighttime curfew imposed for floodwater area in Iowa City/Coralville

The Iowa River reached its crest in Iowa City Sunday, June 15, 2008. Hancher Auditorium is in the lower right corner. (Perry Walton/P&N Flight)

Sunday, June 15: (watch June 15th video)
-Strike teams begin entering flooded Cedar Rapids neighborhoods to determine safety
-Tempers flare when CR residents denied entry to their neighborhoods
-Cedar River River falls to 24.3 feet in CR -- still higher than any previous flood
-Iowa River crests earlier than expected at 31.5 feet
-Coralville Lake crests at 716.97 feet above sea level
-UI officials reveal that Hancher Auditorium, among other buildings, took big hit

President George W. Bush speaks at a briefing on the recent flood damage in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, June 19, 2008. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Monday, June 16: (watch June 16th video)
-Cedar Rapids' City Hall moves to AEGON; city and county offices go to Westdale; courts move to Kirkwood
-I-80 reopens at Cedar River

Tuesday, June 17: (watch June 17th video)
-I-380 reopens

Wednesday, June 18:
-Four downtown bridges reopen in Cedar Rapids
-Cedar Rapids City Council sets up contractor certification system, hears pleas for buyouts

Thursday, June 19:
-President Bush visits flooded areas in Iowa City Midwest swing

Friday, June 20:
-Water restrictions lifted except for industry in Cedar Rapids

Saturday, June 21:
-Cedar River drops below 12-foot flood stage for first time since June 2 in Cedar Rapids

Tuesday, June 24:
-Water stops going over Coralville Lake spillway

-Wednesday, June 25:
-2,000 homes likely to be razed, city of Cedar Rapids says

Monday, June 30:
-Power restoration begins in downtown Cedar Rapids
-Iowa City Council agrees to explore buyouts

Tuesday, July 1:
-Coralville City Council expresses interest in buyouts, vote pending

Wednesday, July 2:
-First FEMA mobile homes arrive in Cedar Rapids for temporary housing

Monday, July 7:
-City cautions homeowners not to count on FEMA buyouts
-Iowa River falls below flood stage in Johnson County

Wednesday, July 9:
-Red Cross closes one emergency shelter; local agencies take over other one in Cedar Rapids
-Dubuque Street reopens in Iowa City

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Epic Surge



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