The unincorporated portion of Linn County has a history of flooding due to its location in the watersheds of both the Cedar and Wapsipinicon rivers. Being prepared is the best defense against major flood events.
What should you do before a flood?
- Purchase flood insurance on your property. Flooding is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. A separate flood insurance policy is required to cover damages incurred by flooding. Coverage is available for the building itself as well as for the contents of the building. Unincorporated Linn County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that makes available federally backed flood insurance for all structures, whether or not they are located within the floodplain. Contact your insurance agent or visit the Cedar Rapids Public Library for more flood insurance information.
- Maintain drainage channels and keep culverts free of obstructions and debris. Keeping drainage channels free of obstructions helps to reduce flooding in the event of heavy rains. The Linn County Secondary Road Department has an “Adopt-A-Roadside” program that allows individuals and organizations the opportunity to improve the quality of the road rights-of-way and/or drainage channels.
- Protect your property from the hazards of flooding and wind. If the floor level of your property is lower than the “Base Flood Elevation” (elevation of the 100-year flood, based on the FEMA maps), consider elevating your structure, if possible. Brochures discussing flood proofing and other mitigation measures are available in the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Linn County Planning and Development office. If a flood is imminent, property can be protected by sandbagging areas subject to the entry of water into living spaces. Linn County Secondary Road Department 319-892-6400, has coordinated with Linn County Emergency Management, 319-892-6500 to provide sand and bags at various locations in the county prior to flooding events.
- Meet permitting requirements. All development within the unincorporated portion of Linn County requires a permit. Always check and fulfill permitting requirements with Linn County Planning and Development at 319-892-5130; the Linn County Road Department for entrance, E-911 and right-of-way (R.O.W) work at 319-892-6400; or Linn County Public Health for well and septic permits at 319-892-6000 before you build on, alter, fill, or re-grade on any portion of your property and/or within any easement or right-of-way. Also, contact any of the numbers above to report any suspected permitting violations.
What should you do during a flood?
- Contact Alliant Energy 1-800-255-4268, REC 1-800-332-5420 or MidAmerican Energy 888-427-5632 to request that your power and natural gas be shut off, or for guidance on how to do it yourself.
- Tune-in to local commercial radio or television stations for Watch and Warning Bulletins and any corresponding emergency instructions.
- Do not attempt to drive or wade through deep pockets of water or running washes. Unstable banks should be avoided.
- Develop an evacuation plan for your family.
- Avoid low-lying areas. Seek shelter in the highest areas possible.
What should you do after a flood?
- Listen to the radio for emergency instructions.
- Avoid driving in flooded or hazardous areas.
- Follow established procedures for property damage repair.
- Association of State Floodplain Managers
- Cedar Rapids Public Library - For literature on flood safety, protecting your property against flood damage, and recovering after a flood, or call 319-363-3286
- Clean-up After the Flood
- Dealing with Disasters
- FEMA Ready.gov - Flood preparedness
- Flood Elevation Certificate - To see if necessary for your property, call Linn County Planning and Development at 319-892-5130
- Flood Hazards Area Map - Broad view of flood hazard area locations within Linn County
- Iowa Department of Natural Resources Floodplain Forms and Links
- Iowa Flood Center - Real-time flood information by the stream and river sensors installed across the State of Iowa
- Iowa Floodplain and Stormwater Management Association.
- Linn County Emergency Management Association - Emergency management
- Linn County GIS - Close-up view of flood hazard areas and where they are in relation to your property; enter your address or geodetic parcel number (GPN) in search box, then select “Floodplain” from the list of FEMA Flood Layers under the “More” radio button
- Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
- United Way of Linn County
- Iowa State University - Extension & Outreach -The Flooding and the National Flood Insurance Program is a series of web-based videos designed to educate local officials and the general public about floodplains, flood risks, and basic floodplain management principles. The videos are divided into five categories: Introduction to the NFIP, Understanding Flooding, Floodplain Mapping, Floodplain Regulation, and Flood Insurance. The tabs located on the top of this web page take you to each of these categories where you will find the related videos.