Residents of Cedar Rapids are watching anxiously as the quickly rising Cedar River threatens to inundate their city with devastating floodwaters for the second time in just over eight years.
After days of sandbagging and erecting an extensive system of flood barriers, residents and officials in Iowa's second-largest city were simply waiting to see how high the Cedar River would rise and what impact the flood would have.
Entire neighborhoods and the downtown area were largely abandoned as residents in low-lying areas heeded the city's call to evacuate. Schools were canceled and many businesses were closed.
The river was expected to crest at 23 feet, the second-largest flood in the city's history, behind only that of June 2008. But the National Weather Service lowered its crest forecast Tuesday to 22 feet, or 6 feet above major flood stage