Publication Date September 26, 2016 | ABC News

Iowa Watches Nervously as River Rises to Highest Level Since Record 2008 Floods

United States
Photo: Associated Press
Photo: Associated Press

Iowa residents awaited nervously Monday as the swollen Cedar River rose steadily to its highest levels since a devastating flood in 2008 that caused some $10 billion in damages and took one life.

The river crested in the town of Vinton at just under 22 ft. at 3 a.m. Monday, less than three ft. shy of the record hit back in 2008.

Floodwaters invaded streets, inundating homes, businesses, parks, yards and stopped the circulation of vehicles in parts of the town...

Downstream, the city of Cedar Rapids urged residents in low-lying parts of the city to evacuate on Sunday, as many worked feverishly throughout the day, moving furniture, removing furnaces and other vulnerable equipment, and encircling buildings with walls of sandbags.

"Residents are reminded that 16 feet is considered major flooding, and the river is predicted to crest at 23 feet," the city warned. "Temporary flood control measures have been constructed in an effort to contain rising water, but are no guarantee of safety."

The National Weather Service predicts the river to crest early Tuesday morning, but the rising waters were already impacting the flood evacuation zone on Sunday, where a curfew took effect at 8 p.m. and will remain in effect until the area is deemed safe