CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Cedar River in Cedar Rapids is cresting currently at just under 22 feet.
The latest river levels from the National Weather Service show the Cedar River at 21.91 feet in Cedar Rapids as of 11:00 a.m. The level was 21.89 at 9 a.m. and at 6 a.m. it was 21.87 feet. According to the NWS, river levels will plateau for a short time and then begin to drop Tuesday afternoon.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, Cedar Rapids city manager Jeff Pomeranz said "The river has reached crest and will remain up. It will be at least two days until we feel more comfortable as a city. We’re looking at 18 feet as the level where we will start to feel that level of comfort. So while we’ve made tremendous progress, while we feel good about where we are, and the level of protection that we put in place and the result of that protection, we’re asking everyone to continue to work with us, and it’s not time yet to go back to life as usual but we’re getting close."
Monday, the crest had been predicted to happen early Tuesday afternoon at 23 feet but the numbers have been adjusted since then.
The city didn’t take any chances in its flood preparations. At this point, workers have filled a quarter-million sandbags, and almost ten miles of Hesco barriers have been put up -- in some cases on top of the levees.
Mayor Ron Corbett told Channel 13 Tuesday morning that the temporary levees have been holding and inspections on those levees will take place later in the day.
City leaders have asked residents in areas near the river to evacuate – just in case the barriers don’t hold. That area contains about 20,000 people and 5,800 homes and businesses.
At this point, the evacuations are voluntary.