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Getting Ready for Higher Water

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) As Cedar Rapids prepared for higher water levels in the coming days, communities to the north already are fighting flooding. Emergency Management in Winneshiek County says that some roads are impassible and bridges already have damage.

One saving grace for the flooding around the communities north of Highway 20 is that it gives people in Cedar Rapids an idea for what to expect.

The scariest thing about running water is that its always going to find a place to go.

"If we need to sandbag, then we'll come down, said Newbo Alehouse Manager Darci Bunting. We have a lot of dedicated staff that I think will help us."
   
While city workers fill sandbags, Public Works Manager Craig Hanson is looking north.

"The current forecast is in Waterloo is still for under 16 feet, said Hanson. That would mean that Cedar Rapids would have somewhere around a 15-foot crest.

But heavy rain since that last forecast could wash out that forecast over the next few days.

"You never know, said NewBo City Market Executive Director Kristie Wetjen. Things change too. That 14 could change to 19 in a couple inches of rain."

In the NewBo Market, its business as usual, which means always having an eye out for rising water levels.

"All of our merchants are mobile so all of these businesses were built so that they could actually move out, said Wetjen.

Kristie says, like Craig, shes also watching what happens in Waterloo.

"When we get around 15 feet, we start to get a little nervous and we'll start to pay more attention after that, said Wetjen.

The city says it wont use sandbags until the predicted crest is about a foot and a half higher than it is right now. But on Friday, theyll plug pipes that could flood parts of the city.

Then we'll have people stationed on pumps as necessary through the weekend and then move into next week and see what we need to do, said Hanson.

Craig says if you see the city crews closing down streets, respect those signs.

Turn around, dont drown.
 
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