Post Flood Threat Sandbag Drop Off Sites Announced for Commercial Properties

Four sites have been established for commercial properties of the Downtown district, including Kingston Village, and the Czech Village/NewBo district, known as the Downtown SSMID and the Czech Village - New Bohemia SSMID, to drop off sandbags post flood threat.

Site locations and details of how to access the sites are as follows:

1) East Side of Downtown - The site of the former 6th Street Alliant Energy power plant between the Quaker Oats and Cargill plants. Take 4th Street SE to Stickle Drive. Turn left on Stickle Drive to cross the railroad tracks and take an immediate right into the gravel driveway alongside the tracks. Follow the drive to the marked drop site. DO NOT USE 5TH STREET SE. PLEASE RESERVE THAT ROUTE FOR GRAIN TRUCKS GOING TO CARGILL.

2) NewBo - A portion of the parking lot east of The National (former Chrome Horse building and the new location of Brewhemia). Vehicles should enter from 12th Avenue SE between 3rd and 4th Streets SE. After unloading, exit onto 4th Street SE.

3) Czech Village - The parking lot behind the shops on 16th Avenue SW in the Czech Village. Take A Street or C Street SW to 17th Avenue to access the parking lot.

4) Kingston Village - The parking lot underneath I-380, bordered by 2nd and 3rd Avenues SW and L Street SW. Take 2nd Avenue SW westbound and turn left into the lot. After unloading, exit by turning left onto 3rd Avenue SW.

View a map of these sites here.

These sites are currently being setup and will be available for sandbag drop offs beginning at 7 a.m. Friday, September 30, for commercial properties outside the evacuation zone and by noon on Friday, September 30 for commercial properties in the current evacuation zone. Sites will remain available for drop-offs at least through Friday, October 7, and the program will be re-evaluated at that time if there is ongoing need.

Please carefully follow these program rules:

  • Only sandbags from commercial properties will be accepted. Residential properties are being handled in a different program through the City of Cedar Rapids. More information at www.cedar-rapids.org.
  • Drop sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Use of the sites during other times is strictly prohibited.
  • Sites will have check-in monitors who will direct the unloading process and record basic contact information. Please do not dump loads without checking in with the monitors.
  • Sandbags that were inundated by flood waters, either overland or via sewer backups, will be accepted but may be stacked separately. Please let monitors know if sandbags were in water.
  • There is no charge to commercial properties for this service because of generous public, corporate and non-profit contributions that will cover the cost of monitoring, loading, hauling and disposing of the sandbags.
  • Please use caution at the drop sites. Public safety remains the top priority as everyone gets back in business.

A special thank you to the following entities working together with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance on this program: Downtown SSMID, Czech Village - New Bohemia SSMID, Park Cedar Rapids, Alliant Energy, City of Cedar Rapids, New Bohemia District and Czech Village Association and Czech Village - New Bohemia Main Street District.

The City of Cedar Rapids issued the following press release on reentry of the flood evacuation area. Note that additions by the Economic Alliance appear in purple text:

Reentry of Flood Evacuation Area

The Cedar River level has dropped to under 19 feet. The safety of residents and property owners has remained the number one priority for the City throughout the duration of this flood event. With the decreasing risk, the full evacuation area will be lifted by Noon on Friday, September 30 for business and residents to access their property for flood-recovery efforts.  The curfew will end on Friday, September 30 at 7:00 a.m.

If you do not have property in the evacuation area, please avoid the area to help reduce congestion as much as possible. Construction vehicles need safe and clear access in order to work as quickly and as efficiently as possible to remove temporary flood control measures. If possible, please wait until Saturday to begin moving heavy items back to help avoid additional trucks and trailers in the area.

Crews will work today and tomorrow as quickly as possible to restore access. Road closures will be lifted as soon as feasible as standing water recedes and barriers and pumps are safely removed. The bridges downtown have been inspected for safety and will be opened as soon as Hesco barriers are removed. Road closure information will continue to be posted at www.cedar-rapids.org. Motorists should heed all road closures and be mindful of traffic signals.  Traffic signals that were deactivated are being restored over the next several days to assist with safe traffic flow.

Residents are still urged to stay out of the revised evacuation area and to heed curfew times until Friday. Do not go near the temporary flood control system or go near water.

Information for Businesses

Many flood impacted businesses will need assistance with sand bags and moving back into facilities. To volunteer with this effort please contact United Way at www.uweci.org. Businesses that need assistance with these activities are encouraged to call 211.

The City will be sending out a survey in early October to assess economic impact to private and non-profit employers, commercial property owners, and residential landlords in the 28-foot evacuation zone.  Those who are not already included in an email distribution list with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance or Czech Village/NewBo Mainstreet District should visit the City's website and complete a form to receive future surveys and communications.  The form can be found online at http://bit.ly/2dGU1j8.

Information on Re-Entry of Homes or Businesses

The City provided a list of homes in the evacuation areas to Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy, and has given approval for all homes to have electricity and gas turned back on. Your gas may already be turned on, or you will receive a door hanger with instructions how to turn it back on. Flood water - even minimal levels - can create safety hazards in your home or business. Re-establishing safe utility services are critical as residents re-enter and evaluate their properties. Properties may have water in the basement from sewer backup.

If your electrical system, furnace and water heater have been submerged for any reason, they are to be considered dangerous and unsafe.  Call both your electrical and gas provider immediately:

  • Alliant Energy - 1-800-ALLIANT or 1-800-255-4268
  • MidAmerican Energy - 1-888-427-5632

You will need to hire a contractor properly registered with the State of Iowa to repair the damage before it is safe to re-establish electrical and/or gas utilities. If you are uncertain whether a contractor is registered, the City has established a phone line and will verify if the contractor is properly registered and licensed by the State of Iowa.  Please call 319-286-5929 to verify.  This is not a contractor referral, but is a verification service. For a list of Economic Alliance member businesses, see our Membership Directory .

The Mayor has waived the fee for Flood Permits which will be issued for all repairs within the flood inundation level. Contractors must obtain a Flood Permit from the City.

Upon completion of work, a City inspector will then inspect the work, and if determined safe, will provide a release number for Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy to turn the utilities back on.

Disposal of Flood Debris

Those outside of the revised evacuation area can now begin the process of evaluating their properties and cleaning up any flood debris. Residents are asked to place flood debris into four separate piles at the curb: one for drywall, carpet, and other household flood debris; one for household hazardous materials like oil-based paints and stains, automotive fluids, and cleaning supplies; one for appliances; and one for electronics. The City will collect these items for free; however, the Solid Waste & Recycling Division will not be able to determine how long collection will take until all residents are back in their homes and they have a better sense of the total amount of debris that will need to be collected.

Disposal of Sandbags for Residents

Please do not place sandbags in your collection carts. Residents looking to remove dry or wet sandbags immediately can bring them to two locations:

  • Noelridge Pool parking lot, starting at 7 a.m. on Friday
  • Ellis Park, starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday

Residents not able to haul sandbags can leave them on their property until the City is able to collect them free of charge. Sandbag pickup is anticipated to start October 10 and run for two weeks.

As a reminder: Solid Waste and Recycling will not be collecting in the flood evacuation zone this week; normal collection will continue throughout the rest of the city. Starting Monday, October 3, Solid Waste & Recycling collection will resume as scheduled for customers who were within the evacuation area. These customers will be allowed to put out two 35-gallon bags of household garbage with their collection carts for no additional fee. The public is asked to use water conservatively to assist the storm sewer system. Transit operations are suspended through September 30 until the flood risk recedes and additional roads can be safely re-opened.

[source: Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance]