10 years ago: North Cedar underwater - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

10 years ago: North Cedar underwater

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Before the overflowing Cedar River soaked Cedar Rapids, it forced hundreds of people out of their homes and cut off communities up river, in Black Hawk County.

In just hours, people in North Cedar were forced out of their homes, as floodwaters washed over decades of memories.

 "I said, we have got to get out of here. The water was rising so fast. We weren't going to be able to save anything, anyway," said Ruth Tucker, whose home was flooded in 2008.

Just moments before, the basement wall had caved in.

"I was in the basement carrying things out. I saw the wall wiggle like this. I turned around and went up the steps and, by the time I got to the top, the water came in. That was kind of scary," remembers Tucker.

For 40 years, Ruth Tucker and her husband lived on Western Avenue in North Cedar.  In 2008, it took just hours for floodwaters to swallow up the home they had planned on living in for the rest of their lives.

"That was the hardest part, seeing the house destroyed. We worked so hard to get it the way we wanted it," said Tucker.

It was days before the Tuckers could get back to their home to see the damage.

"Everything that wasn't fastened down in the garage had floated, apparently, because it was a mess all over," said Tucker.

Everything was wet and covered in mud. More than three feet of water reached the main living area.

Tucker was able to save a family hutch, but 10-years-later, it still bears the watermarks.  Family diaries from the early 1900's were found soaked and the ink smeared.

Due to the damage, the Tuckers were never able to return home to North Cedar. The home was demolished in 2009, and the Tuckers relocated to Evansdale.

But despite it all, Tucker is thankful it wasn't worse.

"We didn't have any injuries. No one drowned. That is the best part. Stuff can be replaced," said Tucker.

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