‘We’re putting up a fight’: Cedar Rapids Prepares for Major Flooding

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - City officials and residents are preparing for major flooding in Iowa's second-largest city, Cedar Rapids.

The Cedar River is expected to crest in Cedar Rapids sometime late Monday into early Tuesday at 23 feet. Flood stage is 12 feet. During the flood of 2008, the Cedar River crested at nearly 32 feet in Cedar Rapids causing more than $2 billion damage.

Residents and the city have been preparing since Thursday when forecasts called for major flooding in the community.

City leaders have asked residents within the flood zone to evacuate their homes by 8 p.m. Sunday, when a curfew will go into effect.

Many neighborhoods that were devastated by the floods of 2008 and that have since rebuilt are taking preventative measures ahead of the expected flooding.

In the NewBo and Time Check neighborhoods, earthen levees and Hesco barriers surround homes and businesses in an effort to protect property from rising water.

Volunteers continued working through the overnight hours into early Sunday morning filling sandbags at one of the three main sandbagging operations.

Residents say the community is coming together to prepare for the worst.

"Neighbors are helping neighbors, strangers are dropping off sandbags, we're taking care of each other," said Nikole Jensen, who lives in the flood zone. "We're putting up a fight."

Volunteers worked Sunday morning to remove seats from Cedar Rapids' Paramount Theater. The theater's organ and first-level seats have been removed in anticipation of flooding. The theater was heavily damaged by the flooding in 2008 and reopened in 2012.

Volunteers work to prepare Cedar Rapids' Paramount Theater for flooding on Sunday, September 25, 2016. (WHO-HD)

Volunteers work to prepare Cedar Rapids' Paramount Theater for flooding on Sunday, September 25, 2016. (WHO-HD)