Cedar Rapids swinging into action with flood preparation

Crews deployed temporary flood-protection systems — called tiger dams — to two spots along Indian Creek

Rick Smith
Published: April 17 2013 | 12:22 pm - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 2:08 pm in

UPDATE: City crews here will be keeping an eye on the flash-flood-prone Indian Creek and Prairie Creek through the night, Craig Hanson, the city’s public works maintenance manager, said early last evening.

"The creeks are in their banks for now," Hanson said.

At midafternoon Wednesday, city crews moved one of the city’s temporary flood-protection systems — called tiger dams — to two spots along Indian Creek, the Sun Valley neighborhood and the area at Sydney Street and 32nd Street Drive SE.

Hanson said heavy rainfall to the north of the city and examples of flash flooding in Iowa City on Wednesday prompted him to go to the "next level of preparations" in the city’s updated flood-response plan and get the tiger dams into spots where they may be needed.

The tiger dams will be taken off a truck, filled with water and connected side by side to provide a few feet of flood protection if Indian Creek begins to flood.

"It is good so far," Hanson said last evening. "It will depend on the rain tonight."

If Boyson Road in Marion floods, the creek will crest at Sun Valley about six hours later, he said.

Hanson said Prairie Creek acts a little more like a river and doesn’t rise as fast as Indian Creek. He said more rain just to the west of the city may force Prairie Creek over its banks on Thursday. This normally impacts J Street SW near Hawkeye Downs Road SW, he said.

The city also has moved pumps to the Sun Valley neighborhood, has other pumps at the ready and was deploying filled sandbags at spots in the city.

As for the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service was reporting that the Cedar River at Cedar Rapids would reach 8.95 feet at noon on Friday.

Otis Road SE is among the first places in the city to take on water, and that occurs when the river reaches about 9.5 feet, according to the National Weather Service’s prediction website.

The river reached 31.12 feet in the city’s historic 2008 flood.

Get more details on Eastern Iowa flooding issues at KCRG.com

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