UPDATE: Cedar River Rising In Waterloo, Cedar Falls
Flood preparations are underway in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, where the Cedar River continues to rise after storms dumped heavy rain in eastern Iowa over the weekend.
Major flooding is expected at Cedar Falls, where the river is forecast to crest around 5.1 feet above its 88-foot flood stage Tuesday morning (June 12, 2018). Moderate flooding is occurring. At 9:45 AM on Monday, the stage was 92.2 feet or 4.2 feet above flood stage, the National Weather Service said. The water level is expected to drop below flood stage Thursday evening.
Minor flooding is expected in Waterloo, where the Cedar River is forecast to reach its 13-foot flood stage at midday on Monday. According to the National Weather Service, the water level will continue to rise, reaching 14.4 feet -- or 1.4. feet above flood stage -- Tuesday morning before cresting. At 10 AM Monday, the river level in Waterloo was at 12.6 feet, or 0.4 feet below flood stage.
Rising water along Black Hawk Creek, a tributary of the Cedar River, forced the closure of Fletcher Ave. between University Ave. and U.S. Highway 63 (Sergeant Road) in Waterloo Monday morning. Officials with the city's Street Department plan to reopen the Fletcher Ave. flood gates by Hope Martin Park once water levels recede.
Cedar River flooding in Waterloo-Cedar Falls also forced the closure of George Wyth State Park at 6 PM Sunday. Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources expect the main roads in the park to be covered by water. Trails and other areas of the park may also be impacted by high water. The DNR is hoping to reopen George Wyth for public use by next weekend.
Flooding has cut off one of the main routes into Waterloo's Riverfront Stadium at Cedar River Exchange Park, but Monday night's baseball game between the Waterloo Bucks and Eau Claire Express will be played as scheduled at 6:35 PM. Fans attending the game should use Park Road off of Broadway St.
The flooding in Waterloo and Cedar Falls is occurring on the 10th anniversary of the Cedar River's historic, record-breaking flood. On June 11, 2008, the Cedar crested at an all-time high of 25.39 feet (12.39 feet above flood stage) in Waterloo and 102.10 feet (14.10 over flood stage) in Cedar Falls.
A flood warning is also posted for the Shell Rock River at Shell Rock until Tuesday morning. At 9:45 AM Monday, the stage was 15.4 feet, or 1.9 feet above flood stage, which is 13.5 feet. Minor flooding is occurring and is forecast to continue. The river crested Monday morning and is continuing to fall.
Severe thunderstorms that dumped heavy rain on a large part of northeast Iowa on Friday and Saturday produced flash flooding and high winds, both of which caused extensive damage.
In Floyd County, Emergency Management officials estimated that more than 300 large trees were uprooted in the city of Rockford during severe weather Saturday night. Volunteers spent the day on Sunday cleaning up and removing the debris, a process that continued on Monday. Officials reported in a Facebook post that some Rockford residents remained without electricity on Monday.
The storm that hit Rockford also forced the closure of the Avenue of the Saints near Charles City Saturday evening. The Iowa Department of Transportation shutdown a 3.5-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 218/Iowa Highway 27 in Floyd County due to downed utility poles. The highway reopened late Monday morning, Floyd County Emergency Management officials said in a Facebook post.
Several roads in south-central Floyd County sustained extensive damage in last week's storms that officials estimate will take eight weeks or more to repair. The primary concern for county officials is an area south of Iowa Highway 14. Also, several roads near Rudd were still closed on Monday, officials said.