Late this morning, the Cedar Rapids City Council declared a state of emergency, and the city is preparing everywhere you look. The latest crest projection is now being reported at 25.3 feet from the original 24.0 feet.

After attending this morning's press conference in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, we visited several spots around the city to see flood preparations first hand. What we saw was thousands of determined citizens with one goal in mind --keeping floodwaters out. Out of churches, the Sheriff's Office, businesses.

Many places are building their own flood walls, including the Linn County Sheriff's Office, where the parking lot, according to Supervisor Jim Houser, is at a river level of 21 feet. HESCO barriers were going to be placed two high around the entire perimeter of the building to protect the building to an approximate level of 27 feet.

The city is asking residents to avoid using 8th Avenue through the downtown area. HESCO barriers are being placed there and we can tell you first hand, the traffic is crazy there. Please heed this call to stay away, as there is crucial work happening.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett concludes the Friday press conference with an address to citizens. The video of the entire press conference is at the bottom.