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Palo Not Worried About Flooding

PALO, IA (CBS2/FOX28)-As more water flows down the Cedar River to Cedar Rapids, the National Weather Service recorded river levels half of what they were back in 2008, making one garden center up the river less nervous about losing their plants.

"At this point we are not worried about it," Cedar River Garden Center Business Manager Faye Dykema said.

The garden center is located along the river in Palo, but the owners are feeling lucky on a cloudy day.

"You have to put it in perspective," she said. "Flood levels were double what they are now."

The store was under 5 feet of water in 2008 and owners aren't expecting wet floors this season.

But despite the lack of sunshine, they said one fence tells them if they should be concerned.

"That has become our marker and we just watch it rise. We took a lot of readings last year and then kind of estimate where we are at," Dykema said pointing at the fence.

Unless more rain falls north of Palo, they only have to worry about keeping plants alive and hope Mother Nature brings a mix of both sun and rain.

"Last year, we had the spring rain and flooding and by July, we were starting to look at drought," she said.

But with a week of some heavy rain, the city of Palo did have sandbags on hand.

"A lot of things we put after the '08 flood seems to be working," Delmar Jellison said.

Jellison is a Palo Council Member and said the city put a bypass to help guide water to other areas around the city.

"In '08 it was 31 feet and was double what we are now so we shouldn't have any problems," he said.

The Cedar River is more than 14 feet high and above flood stage. It's forecasted to go back down Thursday.

A number that the garden center knows doesn't come close to breaking any new records.

"It's like a farmer, you put up with the weather and do with what you have," Dykema said.

The Cedar River crested Monday in Vinton and Palo. It's forecasted to crest in Cedar Rapids at more than 17 feet Tuesday.

But to put this flood into perspective, back in 2008, the river crested went past 31 feet.

The higher than normal river levels won't even come close to matching what the Corridor saw 6 years ago, hopefully that's something that can ease your worries just a little bit.

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