Cedar Rapids officials reassure public, "we are taking action" - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids officials reassure public, "we are taking action"

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - It's easy to understand why some people may be experiencing some anxiety, with talk of potential flooding. That especially goes for Cedar Rapids residents, who experienced the worst of it in 2008.

But, city officials say current river level forecasts will not require any evacuations, and want to reassure people that their homes and businesses are safe. The cedar river is expected to crest just under 16 feet, by next Thursday.

"City leaders and emergency responders are preparing and are taking actions," said Greg Buelow of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, in a media conference Thursday.

He said Cedar Rapids officials are doing everything in their power to prepare for a disaster. But with talk of a "major stage" flood, they want people to realize that it's only a term.

"A major stage flood here in Cedar Rapids is 16 feet. What does that really mean? It's a level," said Craig Hanson, Public Works Maintenance Manager.

Sewer Superintendent Mike Kuntz held a training session with "tiger dams" early Thursday morning. He says there's no harm in keeping city workers sharp on how to set them up. Those wouldn't be deployed unless the river approaches the 20-foot mark.

City officials also want to reassure citizens, that they'll use every channel available to keep them as up-to-date as possible on river levels.

"Press conferences like this are one example of what we are going to do, to get that information directly out to the people," said Buelow.

Hanson says ice jamsare a concern, but a normal part of the spring thaw here in Eastern Iowa. He says any minor flooding resulting from an ice jam, can be taken care of with water pumps and sandbags, if needed.

"Right now, we have over 17-thousand sandbags here, made and ready to go."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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