Sigh of relief in Cedar Rapids: Flood crest lowers

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The City of Cedar Rapids is breathing a bit of a sigh of relief as flood forecasts are now dropping with clear skies ahead.

Cedar Rapids city crews position a concrete cone over a manhole to keep rising river water out of the sewer system. Crews have put aside other jobs for weeks to deal with repeated flood preparations.

The National Weather Service lowered its flood forecast for the Cedar River to crest Saturday at 15.8 feet - down nearly four feet from initial forecasts earlier this week that called for 19.7 feet. The new crest forecast is below major flood stage and below the crests from earlier this year.

Click here for the latest river forecasts across eastern Iowa.

After the initial forecasts, the City had put out flood protection plans up to an 18-foot crest, which includes installing plugs in underground storm sewer systems, placing cones over manholes, stationing pumps and road closure barricades to be used as needed, and building sand-filled HESCO walls in low-lying areas behind the Cedar Rapids Police Station. Those procedures will stay in place with no new measures planned.

Current Road Closures:

• Penn Ave NW from 1st Street to Ellis Blvd
• 1st Street NW from Penn Ave to O Ave
• 2nd St NW from K Ave to L Ave
• Otis Road SE from Cargill to Prairie Park Fishery
• A Street SW from C Street to National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library
• A Street SW from 17th Street to Compost Facility
• Bowling Street SW from C Street to A Street

Current Park and Trail Closures:

• Cedar River Trail (Tait Cummins to A St. landfill)
• Cedar River Trail (8th Ave to 16th Ave)
• Ellis Park Lakeview & Manhattan Pavilions
• Ellis Softball Hall of Fame
• Prairie Park Trail
• Robbins Lake
• Seminole Valley Park