Cedar Rapids prepares for historic flooding

It’s surreal, but true. Eight years after historic flooding devastated the city of Cedar Rapids, our community is again bracing for a flood of epic proportions.

OPN Architect’s Cedar Rapids studio is within the area affected by the crest of 24 feet. The river is anticipated to start rising dramatically on Sunday (Sept. 25) and crest on Monday (Sept. 26). The river will likely stay at flood stage throughout the entire week.

Like much of the downtown core, northwest neighborhoods, Czech Village, and New Bohemia, our studio suffered major damage in 2008, when the floods crested at 31.3 feet. Water reached up to the first floor, completely submerging everything in the basement.

Eight years ago, OPN waited too long to prepare and lost too much. We all did.

In anticipation of the flood, OPN’s Cedar Rapids staff is working to move everything out of our basement, including our archives, materials library, model studio, and other critical items (like the ice cream machines). The rest of the business owners and residents of the affected areas are doing the same. We encourage anyone who is willing and able to help with flood preparation efforts.

We hope that all this preparation is for naught. If the waters do rise as predicted, though, we will be ready. We will also keep our clients and friends updated via social media and on this page.

Unlike eight years ago, we have the gift of time. We also have the lessons we learned in 2008. Our community has already rallied a proactive response. Whether you need help or want to offer it, here’s a round up of resources: