Major Flooding Forecast For Waterloo, Cedar Falls
City officials in Waterloo and Cedar Falls are telling people to prepare for the second-highest flood level in each community.
As of noon Thursday, the National Weather Service was projecting the Cedar River to climb about 11.8 feet above its 13-foot flood stage. The river is expected to crest at 24.8 feet on Sunday. That mark would top the 21.86 level reached in 1961, but be below the all-time record of 27.01 feet set in 2008.
Upstream in neighboring Cedar Falls, the river is forecast to get 11.2-feet above the 88-foot flood stage. NWS officials are predicting a Saturday afternoon crest of 99.2-feet, a mark that would stay below the record crest of 102.10 feet in 2008.
Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart gave an update on his city's flood situation during a late afternoon news conference on Thursday (Sept. 22, 2016). The mayor said city officials plan to begin closing downtown bridges across the Cedar River at 10 a.m. on Friday, depending on the crest levels.
According to the National Weather Service, the Park Avenue. and 11th Street bridges both would close when the water level reach 24 feet. At the level, water would reach the railroad bridge downtown, and force the closure of the Westfield Avenue bridge over Black Hawk Creek.
Regarding Black Hawk Creek, Waterloo city officials had already closed the Fletcher Avenue flood gates by Thursday.
In Cedar Falls, the projected flood level would cover the westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 218/Iowa Highway 57 near George Wyth State Park east of the Cedar River bridge. near George Wyth State Park.
The flood situation has forced officials with the Cedar Falls School District to cancel classes for all students on Friday (Sept. 23).
Cedar Falls city staff is continuing to monitor river level projects and is continuing to work on flood preparedness procedures, according to a press release issued by the city late Thursday afternoon.
The city has set up three sand and sand-bagging stations for Northern Cedar Falls residents. They are located at 2806 Center Street, the corner of Lincoln Street & Leversee Road and at the Ice House Museum.
Drinking water for residents in the North Cedar area of Cedar Falls is available at the North Fire Station. There is a hose on the outside of the building that can be accessed anytime, but residents will need to bring their own containers.
On Friday morning, public safety personnel in Cedar Falls plan to go door-to-door to reach out to residents in the North Cedar area that will be impacted by flooding. City officials will be providing informational brochures and providing any other necessary information. Public Safety personnel will be assigned at the North Fire Station, starting Saturday morning.
At this point in time, volunteers to help with sandbagging efforts in public areas of Cedar Falls are not being requested.
Due to equipment at the Recycling Center needing to be elevated to protect them from
flooding, the facility will be closed after Friday. Residents should hold their recyclables until later next week.
As of 5:00 p.m. Thursday, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be open in Cedar Falls. The center's phone number is 319-243-2700 for anyone who needs their questions answers.
Outside the metropolitan area, some rural county highways are expected to flooded by high water from the Cedar River. The Black Hawk County Secondary Roads Department is predicting the closure of Washburn Road (D38) between Gilbertville and Washburn, and Brandon Road (D48), between La Porte City and Canfield Road (V51) on Friday.
Black Hawk County is also providing bags and sand for county residents to protect their property. Sand and bags are available at the Moose Lodge in Washburn (off U.S. Highway 218), the city park in Finchford (off Finchford Road) and at the Secondary Roads Shed on Cedar Street in La Porte City.