Cedar River brings flood concerns in Charles City - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar River brings flood concerns in Charles City

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Flood warnings are up along the Cedar from near Osage to La Porte City.  The river rose quickly Monday in Charles City. Flood warnings are up along the Cedar from near Osage to La Porte City. The river rose quickly Monday in Charles City.
CHARLES CITY (KWWL) -

Flooding is leading to some concerns along the Cedar River.

Flood warnings are up along the Cedar from near Osage to La Porte City.

The river rose quickly Monday in Charles City.

Sandbagging became the after-school lesson at Immaculate Conception School in Charles City.

Volunteers, students, staff, and nearly 200 Charles City High School students came together to build a wall of protection around the Catholic elementary school.

It's a block from the river and previously flooded in 2008.

"We had bags in inventory that we had purchased last time after the flood, just to make sure we're prepared for this -- knowing that's impossible to find sandbags when you truly need them," said School Board chairman Chuck Staudt. "We had a volunteer drive to Winona, Minnesota, to get extras. Glad we have those, have the wall in place and hopefully we don't need it."

Upstream, the dam showed the force of all the water coming from the north.

Flood-prone areas saw higher water.

But city officials say the impact is lessened because of what happened in 2008.

"At this point, it's some road closures, some homes are affected, but largely the community has sustained some flood buyouts through FEMA of homes flooded in 2008, so those structures are no longer there," said Charles City Fire Chief Eric Whipple. "They've been demolished and reduced the number of homes affected by this type of flooding."

Around 5 p.m., city officials issued a voluntary evacuation for this neighborhood near Lions Park. They said they were concerned people wouldn't be able to get in or out if the flood waters rose any more.

Officials say watching the Main Street Bridge puts flooding in perspective.

In 2008, water lapped over the bridge, causing it to close.

So far, the river isn't close to a repeat performance.

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