Flooding from past record snow

Waterloo is only 0.4″ away from breaking the snowfall record for snowiest winter on record.

With the spring flood outlook looking bleak across eastern Iowa, I decided to dive into how many of the above winters led to flooding on the Cedar River.

There are many factors that lead to the flooding of rivers. Many will remember that 2008 had a high snow pack in Iowa and Minnesota followed by a wet spring. Here are some of the numbers:


  • The Cedar River crested at 19.26 ft on March 31st. This was the 13th highest crest for the Cedar. The spring months (March 1-May 31) recorded 10.79″ of precipitation (rain/melted snow/sleet). The average spring precipitation for Waterloo is 10.3″ .
  • Snow Depth on 3/11: 8″


  • The Cedar River crested at 18.39 ft on June 22nd, the 19th highest crest on record.  The spring months received 11.41″ of precipitation.
  • Snow Depth on 3/11: 1″


  • The 6th highest crest was recorded on the Cedar River on April 2nd. It was also the 8th wettest spring when 13.78″ of precipitation was recorded. The river crested again at 17.64 ft  on 8/19/1993.
  • Snow Depth on 3/11: 1″


  • The record breaking flooding year. The Cedar River crested at an all time high of 27.01 ft on June 11th. It also crested at April 26 at 18.28 ft (21st highest). The April crest was likely due to the above average snow. The liquid precipitation during the spring months was 18.65″ making it the 3rd wettest on record and aiding in the record crest in June. You can read the entire assessment on the 2008 floods from the National Weather Service.
  • Snow Depth on 3/11: 9″

The snow depth yesterday in Waterloo was 11″. As you can see in the map below, the snow pack is high in Minnesota and areas to the north as well.

A lot of factors are still in play on if we will see record river levels as well this year but most are leaning towards the above normal risk for flooding.

Be sure to keep up to date on the latest river levels and remember TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN. NEVER drive through flooded roads.

Denice Pelster

Denice Pelster

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