- Associated Press - Sunday, June 22, 2014

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - City crews in eastern Iowa were preparing for Cedar River flooding after a Sunday morning storm dumped more rain on the area and pushed water levels above the expected crest.

The storm also caused scattered power outages and knocked out traffic signals throughout the Cedar Falls metro area, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports (http://bit.ly/1nuQwoY ).

Initial estimates set the crest in Cedar Falls at 4 feet over the flood stage, but the river had already risen more than 6 feet above as of Sunday morning. The National Weather Service predicted a 70 percent chance of rain Sunday night and into the morning, bringing an additional 1 to 1.5 inches of rain.

Waterloo city officials were setting up pumps and closing levee gates as the river rose.

“It will keep it from backing up into the storm sewers and going into people’s yards,” said Larry Smith, Waste Management Services superintendent.

Smith said a large 12-inch pump has been reinstalled at Blowers Creek as a precautionary measure. The pump had been disconnected as construction crews this spring were building a large permanent pump station there.

Waterloo crews were prepared to respond to traffic control issues should the flooding require street closures. Sandbags have been filled at the sewage treatment plant on Easton Avenue in case they’re needed.

Buyouts from extreme floods in 1993, 1999 and 2008 have left few properties in the floodway outside of the city’s levee protection system. Only one occupied home remains in Sherwood Park, which was already taking on water, and no houses are left on Sans Souci Island.

The river in Waterloo was expected to crest about 5 feet above flood stage on Sunday, roughly 2 feet higher than projected on Friday. Forecasters had earlier said it would crest at 15.8 feet - still nowhere near the 27-foot record set on June 11, 2008.

Cedar Rapids was also expected to see flooding this week. The National Weather Service said the river in Cedar Rapids was on pace to rise to 4.5 feet over the flood stage by Tuesday.

National Weather Service Meteorologist John Haase said the water could rise higher if more rain falls within the next day.

“It’s not really etched in stone,” Haase said. “It could be higher than that, but the question is how much higher.”

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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