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Cedar River expected to crest early Friday morning

  • Water rushes over the dam above the Main Street bridge Thursday afternoon in Charles City. The Cedar River is forecast to crest at 12 feet, 1 inch early Friday morning.

  • Water has expanded into low areas as the Cedar River rises because of heavy rainfall earlier this week. Bayou Bend Park has water creeping up its shoreline Thursday afternoon, providing soggy conditions for park-goers but not seeming to bother many Canada geese in the area. The Cedar River is forecast to crest at 12 feet, 1 inch early Friday morning.


By Bob Steenson,

A flash flood warning continues for Charles City through Friday evening after heavy thunderstorms rolled through the area Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service predicts the Cedar River will crest at 12 feet, 1 inch at 1 a.m. Friday. That’s significantly below earlier forecasts of a crest near 15 feet. Minor flood stage is listed as 12 feet and moderate flood stage is listed as 15 feet.

At 12 feet the cable pedestrian bridge joining Kate McLeod Park and Sherman Park is closed.

Floyd County Emergency Management warned drivers that several roads in the county have been temporarily closed by the county engineer’s office because of recent weather. Those roads are:

  • 110th Street between Rampart and Shadow streets.
  • 280th Street between Noble and Ocean streets.
  • 290th Street between Underwood and Victory streets.
  • 300th Street between Underwood and Victory streets.
  • Ivory Street between 190th and 200th  streets.
  • Ocean Street between 285th and 290th  streets.

Major flood stage for the Cedar River through Charles City is 18 feet, and devastating floods over the years have been well over that.

The highest the Cedar River has been measured at was 25.33 feet on June 9, 2008. The top 10 highest flood crests for the Cedar River in Charles City are:

  • 1) 25.33 feet on June 9, 2008.
  • 2) 22.81 feet on July 21, 1999.
  • 3) 21.64 feet on March 2, 1965.
  • 4) 21.60 feet on March 27, 1961.
  • 5) 21.44 feet on Aug. 16, 1993.
  • 6) 21.20 feet on March 17, 1933.
  • 7) 21.00 feet on Sept. 24, 2016.
  • 8) 20.33 feet on Sept. 17, 2004.
  • 9) 20.12 feet on June 14, 2008.
  • 10) 19.52 feet on May 21, 2013.

The Weather Service said Charles City received an additional 2.7 inches of rain by Wednesday morning, making the total for just the first five days of September almost 6¼ inches.

The Weather Service predicted the Cedar River will be back below the minor flood stage by Friday morning, and down around seasonal normal heights of 3 to 4 feet by Sunday.

The forecast through the weekend calls for clear to partly cloudy skies with mild temperatures and no rain in sight.