Study finds population in CR flood area will rise the most

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) –The city of Cedar Rapids has been hit hard by flooding twice in the last eight years but people are still moving to the most at-risk areas for flood waters.

In September the Cedar River hit a high water mark of 22 feet which was the second highest ever.

The Cedar River hit a record crest of 31 feet in 2008 causing heavy damage to the city.

Although flooding in 2008 and 2016 left damage to areas of Cedar Rapids bordering the river, a report commissioned by the city finds that people living in areas at the highest risk will continue to grow.

According to the report the flood area of the city is anticipated to draw more people to live than the areas outside of it by 2020, proving past floods aren’t scaring people or developers away.

“When we all travel there is all kinds of places to live downtown and we just didn’t have any,” says B.J. Hobart, an Owner and Developer.

Hobart owns and developed ‘The Metropolitan a soon-to-be home for people in downtown Cedar Rapids.

While ‘The Metropolitan’ is located in the flood zone, there is more beauty there than fear with skyline views of downtown Cedar Rapids.

“I think everybody wants to live where the excitement is, I shouldn’t say everybody but a lot of people and I think the movement recently in the last decade or two is to come back down, 50 years ago it was to get away from downtown and live in the suburbs,” says Hobart.

More downtown and near downtown living continues be built, like ‘The Depot’ which is in the works in the Newbo area and also located in the flood zone.

An upswing in housing available in the flood area is the reason the study says there will be more population growth in the flood impacted areas of the city than in the areas outside of it come 2020.

“Just didn’t surprise us at all,” says Hobart.

The study also expects the Cedar Rapids population as a whole to grow.

A census done in 2010 has 126,326 people living in the city, that number is expected to grow to 137,497 by 2020.

You can read the study in full by clicking the link below: