Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Flood Of 2016 (Part 1 Watching The River Flow)

If you haven't heard or seen the news, you might not know that our area is once again at the mercy of a raging river, that will be coming through town around 23 to 24 feet of muddy water.  The past couple weeks the Cedar Valley has gotten hit with 15 to 20 inches of rain for this month, an ungodly amount of rain.  Just like in 2008 we have had a stalled front throwing many many monsoon storms, but this time more centered in around southern Minnesota and north eastern Iowa.

(photo: KWWL-Cedar Falls 9-24-16)

(Photo: KWWL- 4th Street Bridge at Waterloo 9-24-16)

Unlike the 2008 flood, which Cedar Rapids got socked with 10 inches of rain to go with the upper rivers runoff which gave us the EPIC SURGE of 31.3 feet, we managed to not get hit too hard, but we did get three inches of rain here.  I seen the ditch culverts fill up and seeing a raging creek going through the back yard but thankfully the basement stayed dry.  Of course we got it waterproof, 8,000 dollars of peace and mind and so far so good.   But I don't live in the floodplain which is New Bo, a place where I do spend lots of time in that area.     Still, with the announcements of the impending flood, people in this town banded together, and started sandbagging places, putting up Nesco dams of whatever they are called, and moving things out of harms' way.  In 2008 The Paramount lost their pipe organ, to which it got repaired and put in place but volunteers have moved the pipe organ into a more safe place.    Right now Cedar Rapids downtown, you can only use the 380 bridge to get through town.  Better safe than sorry.

(Photo: Big Show Farm via Twitter)

Even the farmers are hurrying up their harvest in flood plains.  This afternoon I seen at least 5 harvesters and tractors cleaning up the corn and soybeans over by US 30 and the Sewage Treatment Plant and on the way home tonight, there was still a few of them on the other side of the highway completing their harvest.  Everybody is heeding warnings.  Fellow musicians helping others move their gear and stuff out of the basements in the floodplain areas of Time Check and New Bo.   You cannot escape the wrath of the Red Cedar, it was here before anybody was around and best to minimize the damage by heeding the warnings and picking things up before the flood arrives.

Photo: Cale Henderson

Photo:Edwin Montgomery (Updated late Sunday night)

Like Tornadoes Pub and Kick Stand, The Mad Modern Art Galley across from Tornado's Pub is on the outside of the NESCO wall that was put in place in the middle of 16th Avenue.  It's a frustrating sight seeing the owner of the place having to rely on a few sand bags and hoping that the river won't be too bad, but even with 23 foot crest, it will be the second highest crest of the river ever.  And the first time we have ever had a major flood of this sort ever in the fall.

Needless to say, the river has risen a couple feet today.  The walking trails at the Nature Center are now underwater in low areas and both Prairie Creek and Indian Creek are taking in Cedar River runoff.   This blog will chronicle the happenings as they happen.  The calm before the storm so to speak.      However, while they're trying to save New Bo, the core of engineers decided to keep the folks who own Tornado's Pub and Grill out of the makeshift Nesco Dam, as well as Kickstand and a couple buildings being remodeled.  The Art Gallery, Antique store across the street, they managed to get everything out of the building into storage before the NESCO dam was built.  Updates to come next few days, till the river crest and things slowly return back to normal.  Grace Potter is supposed to be playing at The Paramount on the 29th, two days after the flood crest. The Fab Four Beatles Tribute Band had to be postponed till next month.   But this will be a blog in progress.

Photo: Tracy Bell  Wapsipinicon River over 150 in Independence 9-25-16

Sunday:  River continues to rise to 13 feet in CR.  The Wapsi to the east has flooded out Littleton and Independence despite the efforts of sandbaggers trying to save houses in Littleton.  30 miles downriver, Lou Lou's in Olin, a camping ground is already beginning to flood.  River is supposed to crest around 24.5 feet in Anamosa on Wednesday.

Palo 9-26-16   Photo from KCRG. 

Vinton 9-26-16 From Ann and Larry via KWWL.  The Cedar has crested up there.

(photo: Ted Reilly  I-380 leading into downtown CR 9-26-16)

Photo: Red Bull Printing 9-26-16

Monday:  The Cedar continues to creep closer and closer to town.  Only 380 is the open bridge across the Cedar and during rush hour it's been wall to wall traffic.  Roads to the Nature Center are now under water and good thing that the farmers managed to clear their harvest on 13/151.  That area is now under water.  The river is beginning to flood on the lower streets in Czech Village and New Bo.  Meanwhile the Wapsipinicon River is now at 20 feet at Shaw Rd outside of Anamosa.  Which means getting into town via E-34 will not be possible.  Road leading to Matsell's now under water.  Buffalo Creek, taking the Wapsi runoff is now flooding the fields to the N and E of Anamosa.

Jenee Ryan's Photo of the Wapsi slowly taking over Lead Mine Road outside of Anamosa.

Not surprisingly, The Cedar River has begun to take over some of the buildings and areas not protected from the NESCO dams.  McGrath Amphitheater is becoming an island in itself.  Jim Slosiarek from the CR gazette took this shot, and the one below.

Shot looking at downtown CR, and the New Bo/Bo Town area.  Some flood water going into the low lying areas but so far as of 5 PM Monday things are looking better than originally thought. However the picture below might suggest otherwise.  James Carter takes this photo of train tracks to Quaker Oats.  To be continued tomorrow for the crest and aftermath.

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