Cedar Falls prepared for flooding in 2010 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls prepared for flooding in 2010

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- The City of Cedar Falls is taking steps now to prevent another disaster like in 2008.  At the regular Monday night city council meeting, the Director of Administrative Services, Richard McAlister, gave an update on the city's emergency plans.

McAlister is not anticipating an emergency situation in the coming days, but the Cedar River is expected to rise. He wants families to know how they can monitor river levels, and to understand when they should be worried about sandbagging and when they need to consider evacuation.

As the snow and ice melt away, the city understands many people are a little weary of how high the river might rise.

"Generally, even in 2008, people were aware of the rising river. And they responded fairly well. They just never had seen something of that scope or that scale and nature," noted McAlister.

The benefit of a record flood, is Cedar Falls leaders have learned from what worked and what didn't.

"We think we're better prepared than ever," said McAlister.

The engineering department is ready to install a new HESCO system, much like the one in use in Cedar Rapids.

"Each basket equates to about 750 sandbags, and its able to be set up by two people in twenty minutes," said Ron Gaines, Director of Developmental Services.

One of the most valuable tools, is a new link on the city's website. Residents can monitor the flood stage of the Cedar River, and see for themselves when - or if - they need to be concerned.

"That information will be real time. It's as current as anything the city has," said McAlister.

The goal is not to alarm people, but to let them know what resources are out there.

"It never hurts to be prepared. Now's the time of year that people should start making these arrangements," McAlister added.

Cedar Falls residents can pick up a free flood brochure from city buildings and many local businesses. It lists, foot by foot, which areas the city will close or evacuate as the water rises.

To take a look at the Cedar River's water levels, or download the flood brochure, click here for the Cedar Falls Flood Information page.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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