CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Iowa residents along the Cedar River are slowly getting back to life as usual with floodwaters receding.
Some downtown Cedar Rapids businesses reopened on Saturday, television station KCRG reported (http://bit.ly/2dzv6iu ). Officials also had taken down many flood barriers that had been erected to keep rising water out and reopened several downtown streets and bridges.
Central locations were set up by Saturday for residents and businesses to drop off sandbags. Sandbag pickup at individual properties is set to begin Oct. 10 and continue for about two weeks.
Most of the downtown area was evacuated earlier in the week ahead of the river’s cresting just shy of 22 feet on Tuesday — its second-highest level in city history. The river has since dropped nearly 9 feet to just over 13 feet on Saturday.
City officials have repeatedly credited preparations taken throughout the city following record 2008 flooding for keeping damage this year at a minimum.
“People stepped up and showed tremendous leadership on all fronts,” Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett said Friday at a news conference. “I really think that was why we were so successful over the last few days.”
Employees at Red’s Public House in Cedar Rapids spent much of Friday moving in tables and chairs and inventory that had been taken to higher ground last week. The ale house is expected to reopen Monday.
While high praise has been passed by officials relieved that the worst is over, police report that scammers have targeted the Cedar Rapids flood zone, offering free hotel rooms in exchange for a credit card number or offering to secure homes for a fee. The FBI is helping investigate some of those reports, police said.
Information from: KCRG-TV, http://www.kcrg.com