NEW DETAILS: Cedar Rapids prepping for flooding, evacuate some - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

NEW DETAILS: Cedar Rapids prepping for flooding, evacuate some

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With rising Cedar River levels, the City of Cedar Rapids isn't taking any chances five years after catastrophic flooding hit their town. With rising Cedar River levels, the City of Cedar Rapids isn't taking any chances five years after catastrophic flooding hit their town.
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

As the Cedar River continues to rise, the City of Cedar Rapids isn't taking any chances five years after catastrophic flooding hit the city.

With the National Weather Service predicting the river to crest at 19.9 feet early Sunday afternoon, officials say they are working to protect the city from at least a 20 foot crest.

Crews have staged 20 pumps, installed 18 plugs, placed over 10,000 sandbags, built two earthen berms and closed flood valves adjacent to the river as of Thursday afternoon.

Berms were built behind the Cedar Rapids Police Department as well as along the Sinclair property in the 1500 block of Second Avenue SE.

Ely Road SW at Old River Road SW was closed Thursday morning due to high water and J Street SW at Prairie Creek was closed Friday afternoon due to rising water. Officials expect that they will have to close the Edgewood Road bridge at Ellis Boulevard by Saturday morning.

Officials stress that all Cedar Rapids residents should expect road closures at some point and arrange travel plans accordingly. For a complete list of road closures in the city, visit http://www.cedar-rapids.org/Pages/home.aspx.

Crews plan to build more earthen berms at the entrance to the landfill on A Street SW and at the intersection of Ellis Lane NW and Ellis Boulevard NW. They also plan to install thirty concrete barrels at storm inlets.

The Cedar Rapids Utilities Department does not expect operations to be affected, as water wells and electrical equipment were raised after the 2008 flood.

Residents living within city limits on Ellis Road NW, west of Edgewood Road, were asked to evacuate by 7 a.m. Friday morning. Greg Buelow, Public Information Officer for the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, says those ten homes historically get surrounded by water when the river reaches 18.5 feet.

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