Storm water master plan will help Cedar Rapids stay dry


With more rain and possible storms approaching so is the risk for potential flash flooding and damage to properties around Cedar Rapids. A city ravaged by flood waters is taking many steps to make sure to reduce the impact of floods caused by rain and storms. Construction projects like the one on Collins Road are always a good opportunity to improve storm protection. The storm sewer pipes are being enlarged, more intakes are coming and storm water detention is being installed with cells underground. Those cells slow down water and it won't discharge as fast on to properties.

"When we get intense rain we get flash flooding and that can cause property damage and as a city we are looking at ways to minimize the impact," Dave Wallace, the sewer utility program manager for Cedar Rapids said. "It's important to have a plan to address all that in a concise way throughout the city."

That's why there is a storm water master plan. Through computer models estimating rainfall in certain areas, the city can determine which areas in the city are likely going to be most affected by possible flooding. They can then focus on programs to make areas more safe and install more drainage along the way. The openings. or storm water intakes, give a place for the water to go and into the storm water pipes and then along to larger water ways.

"We are really trying to take a holistic approach on how we can mitigate storm water runoff and flash flooding issues," Wallace said.

A holistic approach also involves Cedar Rapids residents. The City gives property owners a monetary incentive to do something within their own boundaries. The measures include storm water barrels that catch water from gutters or rain gardens. Residents interested should contact the city to see if they are eligible to receive up to a $1000 for a flood mitigation project in their backyard.

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