Underground protection making Cedar Rapids flood preparations easier

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Crews in Cedar Rapids have been working all week to prepare for yet another flood stage.

The Cedar River in Cedar Rapids was predicted to crest to 19.7 feet earlier this week. Now, that prediction has lowered to 15.8 feet, just below the major flood stage.

This is the third time the Cedar River has entered a flood stage this fall. By now Cedar Rapids knows the drill, put up HESCO barriers, plug storm sewers, and set up pump stations.

According to the Flood Control Program Manager, Rob Davis something has made preparations much easier since the 2016 floods. Pump stations, like the one on 2nd Ave. near Newbo.

“The HESCO barriers are relatively easy to set up but plugging those pipes and raising all of those storm sewers… those are much harder than building HESCO barriers,” said Davis.

That station saving the city hours, freeing up crews to help in other areas.

“This is the kind of thing that protects against basement flooding, roadway flooding and it’s a big deal… this pump station we are standing in is about a six million dollar investment,” said Daivs.

An investment that protects two thirds of the downtown.

The pump station works in two ways, keeping water from backing up into the streets through storm sewers. While also pumping rain water off of the roads and into the river said Daivs, “When the river is flooding and we close that gate off right behind you, we then direct the water here, there is a trash rack that prevents anything getting into the pump. Then the water goes into these three pumps.”

Keeping flood water and rain off the streets.

The city is working on adding more pump stations in the Czech Village area. Davis said they are also working to design some for the west side of town.

Once permanent flood protection is in place, they hope to have more than 10 throughout Cedar Rapids.

To learn more about flood protection efforts in Cedar Rapids, visit the cities website here.

Ashley Neighbor

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids
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