As you may not know, I reside in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. If you’ve been watching the national news you know we’re in the midst of a major flood. To paint the picture, some shocking numbers will do the trick. The Cedar River floods at a level of 12 feet. In 1929 the worst flood in recorded history occurred in Cedar Rapids when the river reached an enormous level of 20 feet – that’s 8 feet above flood level. On the news tonight, the city mayor explained that emergency plans are in place to account for a unthinkable flood level of 25 feet. And where are we now? As of this moment, the Cedar River is above 29 feet, and we have yet to crest. The National Weather Service (NWS) estimates we will crest early tomorrow morning at 32 feet! 20 feet above flood level, and 12 feet above the previous record. It’s literally unbelievable.
The river level gauge is broken, and it’s just as well. It only reads to around 26 feet anyway. So these numbers coming from the NWS are based on GPS. They are having a hard time making estimates because nothing like this has ever been seen before. Last night, estimates had the river cresting Friday morning at about 24 feet. Needless to say, we blew past that early this morning and we are fast approaching 32 feet.
Bridges have collapsed. Cars have been seen floating down the river. It looks like a mini New Orleans. Downtown Cedar Rapids is completely evacuated, and neighborhoods to the east and west of me are evacuating due to severe flash flooding. So far, my neighborhood looks safe. I hope. I pray.
These pictures say it all:
See The Gazette website for the full story and pictures. And it goes without saying – please pray for the residents of Cedar Rapids as we go through this difficult time. Many people have lost everything. When the finally river recedes sometime late next week, the clean up effort will be enormous.