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City Prepping for Cedar River Surge



Two things come to mind when Jacki Woods hears the word flood.


One, a not so distant memory.


"I just hope it doesn't get as bad as 2008," Woods said.


The other, a more recent one.


"The ice jam...We came back from Minneapolis that weekend, when we pulled into town there was a little anxiety.


That ice jam anxiety was shared by business owner Al Pierson.


"We came within 12 inches of getting water in our property again," Pierson said.


He says again, because his business was destroyed in 2008.


"I will forever be concerned when the cedar river is starting to flood," Pierson said.


Although the river is expected to crest at 13 feet this weekend, Craig Hanson with Cedar Rapids Public works says he doesn't think there should be too much concern.


"This is a type of crest that happens every two years," Hanson said.


Even so, the city is being cautious.


"We went off and made another 4 thousand plus sand bags, you'll see us put out pumps on Ellis road west of Edgewood."


They're also installing new technology.


"On Penn Ave NW we installed an in-line flow valve that keeps the river water out," Hanson said.


Overall, Hanson says this situation is unlike the ice jam.


"In this case we're looking at 48 hours where we know we're looking at a crest number," Hanson said


Pierson says this time around his worry level is low.


"Based on the forecast, I'm not overly concerned."


...For the most part.


"If it starts raining hard, that'll change my outlook," Pierson said.


However some residents aren't taking chances.


"I just have a bag packed in case we have to leave," Woods said


Hanson says they are also trying to decide whether to close off the river to boats this holiday weekend, as conditions may be tough for boaters


That decision is expected to be made Friday.

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