Sep 27, 2016

Iowans stack over 250,000 sandbags in Cedar Rapids to offset river flooding

Cedar Rapids, IA
USA
by
Brian Lada
,
AccuWeather
The Tornado's Grub & Pub sits surrounded in flood waters from the Cedar River, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The city hastily erected 9.8-mile system of Hesco barriers and earthen berms was largely holding back the Cedar River, which was cresting at its second-highest level in history. Photo: Charlie Neibergall, AP
The Tornado's Grub & Pub sits surrounded in flood waters from the Cedar River, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The city hastily erected 9.8-mile system of Hesco barriers and earthen berms was largely holding back the Cedar River, which was cresting at its second-highest level in history. Photo: Charlie Neibergall, AP

Communities along the Cedar River in Iowa are bracing for some of the highest water levels in nearly a decade following excessive rainfall across the region last week.

Water levels along the Cedar River have reached major flood stage in cities such as Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Vinton, Iowa, and will remain in flood stage for the next several days before receding.

Schools in Cedar Rapids have been canceled through Thursday and thousands of residents have received voluntary evacuation orders, according to the Associated Press. People in the city have also used over 250,000 sandbags to help protect buildings from rising flood waters.

The flooding has been a result of excessive rainfall that fell across the region last week, with some areas experiencing more than a month's worth of rain in just a few days.

"Mainly dry weather through early next week will allow the flood waters to gradually subside," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Andy Mussoline

Residents and officials in Cedar Rapids placed barriers along the banks of the river, as well as thousands of sandbags around the city in preparation for the rising river levels.

The Cedar River is expected to crest around 22 feet before slowly receding throughout the rest of the week. This would be the second-highest river crest on record for the Cedar River at Cedar Rapids, with the all-time record being 31 feet set on June 13, 2008