Flood of 2008

On June 13, 2008, the Cedar River crested to its highest level in Cedar Rapids history, 31.12 feet. The previous record reached only 20 feet. The flood waters penetrated 10 square miles or 14 percent of the city. This monumental flood impacted 7,198 parcels, including 5,390 houses, dislocated more than 18,000 residents and damaged 310 City facilities.

Flood Magnitude

  • 31.12 feet – Record-setting crest of Cedar River on Friday, June 13, 2008

  • More than 10 square miles (14%) of the City impacted by floodwaters

  • 1,126 city blocks impacted (561 severely damaged)

  • 41,771 tons of flood debris removed

  • 0 - Amazingly there were zero flood-related deaths

People

  • 18,623 estimated persons lived in flood-impacted area

  • 10,000 estimated residents were displaced by flood

  • 120 families in flood areas receiving Section 8 housing assistance

  • 1,360 estimated job loss as a result of the flood

  • 45 registered day-care providers damaged, displacing 1,547 children

  • 1,800 elementary students were displaced

  • 423 boat rescues performed by Cedar Rapids firefighters

Property

  • 7,749 total parcels flooded

  • Of those, 5,900 residential properties flooded (56% were owner-occupied; 34% were rental properties)

  • 310 City facilities flooded (estimate $500 million to repair and rebuild)

  • 1,300 estimated flood-damaged properties will be demolished

Services

  • 6 major City buildings damaged and displaced - Veterans Memorial Building (home to city hall), Central Fire Station, Animal Control building, Public Works building, Ground Transportation Center (city transportation hub) and main public library (310 total City facilities were impacted by the Flood of 2008)

  • Cedar Rapids Community School District central offices and elementary school flooded and displaced

  • 8  iconic cultural assets displaced and destroyed, including museums, theaters and cultural centers

  • 3 of 4 city collector wells and 46 vertical wells disabled

  • 486 property tax-exempt facilities damaged (government, schools, churches, nonprofits, etc.)

  • 136 other properties damaged (utilities, railroads, etc.)


Sixth Largest FEMA Declaration
The damaged caused by the 2008 floods and tornadoes in Iowa are considered the sixth largest FEMA disaster declaration based on estimated financial public assistance.

    1. Hurricane Katrina, LA, $8.2 billion

    2. 9/11 Terrorist Attack, NY, $4.6 billion

    3. Earthquake, Northridge, CA, $4.2 billion

    4. Hurricane Katrina, MS, $3.1 billion

    5. Hurricane Ike, TX, $1.5 billion

    6. Floods & Tornadoes, IA, $848 million

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