Floodwaters Engulf Iowa's 'Flood-Proof' City

'500-year flood' swamps Cedar Rapids' defenses
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2008 7:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Cedar River has burst its banks and deluged Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Des Moines Register reports. About 9,000 people have been evacuated—including more than 170 from a hospital—and most of the city's downtown is under water. The river is still rising and is expected to crest today at 31.8 feet, about 12 feet higher than the previous record set in 1851. No injuries or deaths have been reported in the state.

The valley city had spent the last few days putting a "100-year flood" plan in action to beat flooding of the kind likely to hit once in a century, but what has hit is being called a 500-year flood—at least. “I never even thought about flood insurance,” said one man who was rescued from his home by boat, clutching a few precious possessions. “They said this place would never flood in 500 years," he told the New York Times. (Read more Cedar Rapids stories.)

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