Volunteers fill sandbag in the New Bohemia District of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. Authorities in several Iowa cities were mobilizing resources Friday to handle flooding from a rain-swollen river that has forced evacuations in several communities upstream, while a Wisconsin town was recovering from storms now blamed for two deaths. (David Scrivner/Iowa City Press-Citizen via AP)
Volunteers fill sandbag in the New Bohemia District of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sept. 23, 2016.  David Scrivner—Iowa City Press-Citizen/AP

Cedar Rapids Residents Flee Homes Ahead of Expected Floods

Sep 25, 2016

Residents are evacuating low-lying parts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa following a request from authorities to leave the area by Sunday night due to a flooding risk from the rising Cedar River.

Water levels rose in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, both about 55 miles upstream from Cedar Rapids. The rise was slightly lower than expected, but still reached large enough levels to create a flood.

The National Weather Service predicted the Cedar River will crest 23 feet in Cedar Rapids, Iowa's second-largest city, on Tuesday morning. Residents living in about 5,000 downtown homes near the river were asked to leave. Officials said it could be days before they can return home.

A flood in 2008 caused billions of dollars in damage, and the city has been preparing for a second major flood since. The Associated Press reports city workers and volunteers have worked for days to build a temporary system of levees to hold the floodwater.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.