Public Safety

Forecast again lowers Cedar Rapids flood prediction

Army Corps says it will increase flow from Coralville Lake

(File photo) The Sixteenth Avenue Southeast bridge is seen in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
(File photo) The Sixteenth Avenue Southeast bridge is seen in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

With some relief from rainy conditions on the way, predictions for crests of the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids and Coralville Lake have been revised downward.

Wednesday, the National Weather Service dropped its Cedar River prediction to 15.8 feet on Saturday. That level falls just below the major flood level of 16 feet.

While that put the crest in moderate flood stage, it’s a big drop from the initial forecast Monday of 19.7 feet.

“The city has already built protection measures in place for an 18 feet crest, which includes installing plugs in underground storm sewer systems, placing cones over manholes, stationing pumps and road closure barricades to be used as needed, and building sand-filled HESCO walls in low-lying areas behind the Cedar Rapids Police Station,” according to a statement from the city.

The Army Corps of Engineers began Wednesday increasing the amount of water flowing out of the Coralville Lake reservoir. The move will allow the reservoir to store more water when the crest arrives Monday.

That crest of about 710 feet is roughly a foot less than the initial projection.

The Corps said it would increase the outflow rate of 10,000 cubic feet per second to 12,000 cubic feet per second. That will remain until the lake starts to fall by more than a foot per day.

Johnson County Emergency Management recommended voluntary evacuations for locations in unincorporated Johnson County on Camino Del Rio SE, Driftwood Lane SE and Ocean Boulevard SE.

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