RAPIDS, Iowa - Volunteers filled sandbags and homeowners
began moving things out of their basements on Saturday, and
one small town evacuated about 100 homes in preparation for
flooding along the Cedar River in Iowa.
is expected to crest Tuesday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa's second
largest city with a population of about 130,000. But with
more rain expected Saturday night, officials there warned
people to evacuate downtown areas of the city near the river
by 8 p.m. Sunday.
have emergency personnel that can help you if needed,"
Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett said Saturday. "They'll
risk their lives for you. But we don't want them to risk
Cedar Valley Montessori School in downtown Cedar Rapids on
Friday, about 100 volunteers from area high schools helped
move all the school equipment above the ground floor.
Cataldo, head of the Montessori school, told television
station KCRG that many remember how flooding damaged the
school in 2008 and don't want that to happen again.
applying those lessons as we move forward," she said.
upriver in the small town of Palo, about 100 homes in
low-lying areas were evacuated Saturday.
Trisca Dix told The Associated Press that the mandatory
evacuation in the town of about 1,000 took place Saturday
afternoon before the river was expected to crest Sunday
night at 24.5 feet.
Yock told the Des Moines Register that volunteers and work
crews scrambled Saturday to protect as much as possible of
the town, which was devastated by record flooding in 2008.
moved their belongings to the upper levels of their homes
and built sandbag barriers before evacuating, he said.
just trying to be more proactive than we were in '08, trying
to save as many homes as we can," Yock said.
Falls, about 55 miles (90 kilometers) upriver from Cedar
Rapids, Lynn Hoth was among a group of volunteers who spent
Friday filling sandbags and building flood barriers.
time, we were an island for three days and we couldn't get
in or out," Hoth told KCRG, referring to the
catastrophic flood of 2008, which caused billions of dollars
in damage. This time around, "we've had notice, so
that's good, and people help each other."
southeastern Minnesota, roads were reopening Saturday as
floodwater receded. But north of Minneapolis, parts of
Highway 169 remained closed in both directors because of
southern Minnesota will remain under a flood warning until
Monday morning. In central Wisconsin, a flood warning was
issued for the Yellow River at Babcock until Sunday morning,
but the river wasn't causing any major problems, according
to National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Mamrosh in
Green Bay, Wisconsin.
southwestern Wisconsin, the Kickapoo River appeared to have
crested and the Black River was on its way down. But the
Yellow River is still rising and may reach major flood stage
Sunday evening, said Clint Aegerter, a meteorologist at the
weather service's office in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The
Mississippi River at La Crosse may crest at minor flood
stage around 4 p.m. Monday, he said.
weather service said storms Saturday night into Sunday would
bring more rain to the area.
meteorologist in the La Crosse office, Todd Rieck, said a
half-inch to 1 inch of rain is possible in southwestern
Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa late
Saturday through Sunday.
you even got an inch in most locations, it would result in
further flooding problems," Rieck said. "There's
no place for the water to go."
Rapids, officials said those residents who have been asked
to evacuate should plan to remain out of their homes and
businesses for up to a week. A curfew was also to go into
effect Sunday beginning at 8 p.m.
some good news, too: The Cedar River is expected to crest at
24.5 feet on Tuesday, which is nearly a foot lower than they
Mark English asked the curious to stay out of the flooded
areas, noting that some heavy equipment used to build
earthen dams and erect flood barriers has been hindered by
gawkers. He said an estimated 1,500 properties near the
river are expected to get at least some flooding.
Terry Branstad and other state officials were set to tour
flood-damaged areas Saturday in the Cedar River basin.