Flood Updates From The Corridor Arts And Culture Scene

By Diana Nollen, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- When the rains start falling and don't let up, we get that awful flashback to the Floods of 2008, when we saw the Cedar and Iowa rivers swallow nearly all of our performing arts venues in the Corridor. Here's where we are Friday morning, as culled from Facebook updates and news releases:

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM OF IOWA, Cedar Rapids

We will be closed Friday (5/31/13) due to the rising river. Stay safe out there, everyone. Fingers crossed for lower than anticipated waters.

CEDAR RAPIDS CITY PARKS

From Thursday (5/30): The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department has closed or will soon close the following parks due to flooding: Prairie Park Fishery, Cheyenne Park (including the off-leash dog area) and Seminole Valley. The Ellis gardens are flooding, all of the boat ramps have been closed and the Sac and Fox Trail remains closed.

CEDAR RAPIDS DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET

Friday (5/31): The meters are decorated with "no parking" signs, and folks at the Metro Economic Alliance say that as of Friday morning, Saturday's Downtown Farmers Market is a go. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to noon.

CEDAR RAPIDS OPERA THEATRE

From Derek Easton on Thursday (5/30): Thanks to everyone who came down to help move the Cedar Rapids Opera's props storage up to TCR's storage on the 3rd floor (of the Cherry Building). While hopefully it won't be necessary the small amount of water seeping in and the way the NewBo district currently looks is pretty scary to see. Lets hope that darn river stops at 20'. I'm guessing there might be more need for help tomorrow (Friday, 5/31).

CERAMICS CENTER, Cedar Rapids

Friday (5/31): Tonight's 36-hour kiln firing at the Ceramics Center, 329 10th Ave. SE, has been postponed due to flood hazard. The event will be rescheduled for a drier date.

CRATOS, Cedar Rapids

Friday morning (5/31): For those interested and concerned in regards to the flooding — The Paramount Wurlitzer console has been moved to the main level and in safe storage on site. If the water continues to rise, there is a plan in place for console removal off site.

The Iowa Theatre is 4 feet higher than the Paramount. The Barton console is in its regular place in the auditorium, but Cedar Rapids Barton Incorporated has been in regular conversation with the Theatre Cedar Rapids staff and a plan is in place for the console to be placed on the stage if necessary. The shows at TCR are currently scheduled as planned.

CSPS, Cedar Rapids

And from the "hard to believe we're going through this again" department: Staff, friends and volunteers will be sandbagging around CSPS Hall, and its tenants New Bo Books, Brewed Cafe and Studio U, Friday morning (5/31), starting at 8 a.m. We could use your help.

NATIONAL CZECH & SLOVAK MUSEUM & LIBRARY, Cedar Rapids

From Rob Merritt on Friday (5/31): The NCSML's main building is fine. We moved our location 11 feet higher than in 2008. However, we are seeking volunteers to help remove things from the Kosek Building in Czech Village this morning, starting at 10 a.m.

NEW BO BOOKS, Cedar Rapids

Thursday (5/30): We at New Bo Books are preparing for flooding. We are open tonight but will probably not be open tomorrow (5/31/13). At this time we are moving everything not nailed down out. If you have extra boxes and are headed down to the neighborhood and have some we would LOVE them.

Thank you for anyone helping out, we appreciate ANY help and thank you to our great neighbors.

Friday (5/31): It is looking like we will be starting at 8 a.m. CSPS is looking for volunteers to help with the sandbagging and we could use help with loading boxes upstairs.

Thanks again for ALL the help, our volunteers are showing us that Cedar Rapids really is an extraordinary city.

NEWBO CITY MARKET, Cedar Rapids

Thursday (5/30): From KCRG: NewBo City Market will be closed (5/30/13) and for the rest of the weekend as a precaution for the expected flooding.

THEATRE CEDAR RAPIDS

Thursday (5/30): From Casey Prince, executive director: Our flood emergency plan does not kick in until the crest is projected several feet higher than it already is. So all is well at your community theater. If you're having unsettling memories of TCR from 2008 and want to help, pay that community love forward to others that will need help long before we will, those to the west and south of us in downtown/New Bo/Czech Village and other near river neighborhoods and districts. Stay informed. Should things become more tenuous, we will post updates to this page. On with the show!

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA ARTS CAMPUS, Iowa City

Thursday (5/30): Installation of a flood wall around Art Building West (ABW) is ahead of schedule and that building is expected to be closed by the end of the day Thursday. The Theatre Building and former Museum of Art (part of which is being used by the UI School of Music) are still on target to be closed by 5 p.m. Friday.

UI Main Library staff members are moving materials out of the basement. The basement currently houses older and infrequently used items and for general storage and does not contain archives or special collections, which were permanently moved to upper floors after the 2008 flood.

The Art Library, located in Art Building West, will be closed Thursday along with ABW. Reserve materials for summer classes will be moved to the UI Main Library. Other materials may be requested via interlibrary loan.

The UI does not need volunteers and is reassigning staff to flood preparation duties. However, Iowa City plans to begin sandbagging operations Friday and is seeking volunteers to help from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Volunteers should check in at Montgomery Hall on the fairgrounds to sign up for a 15-minutesbriefing. Volunteers assigned to sites around the city are encouraged to keep their vehicles at the fairgrounds and use provided shuttle service. For the latest flood-related news from the City of Iowa City, visit www.icgov.org/flood

United Way of Johnson County has created a flood information blog at www.unitedwayjc.org/blog-entry/29-05-2013/flood-information-resources United Way has also established a Disaster Call Center that will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for people in need of help or seeking volunteer opportunities. The number is (319) 337-8657. After 8 p.m., people with questions can call 211 or 1-(866) -469-2211.

For ongoing updates, University of Iowa Communication and Marketing (UCM) has established an Iowa Now hub for the latest information about flood preparations at now.uiowa.edu/keywords/flood-updates-2013. Additionally, UCM is providing information via Twitter (hashtag #UIFloodUpdates).
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