Flood Information

The following information is a reminder of what to do if we experience another flood event this year. Become familiar with some important terms which will help identify the threat and hazards associated to flooding.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) provides real time data for the river gauge in Cedar Falls. Anyone can sign up for automated updates to this gauge via email or text through your smart phone. Use the following link to sign up for the Cedar River gauge notification and follow the instructions to download the app on your computer or smart phone. 

Flood Watch:

Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.


Flash Flood Watch:

Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.

Flood Warning:

Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.


Flash Flood Warning:

A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.


The City of Cedar Falls Planning and Community Services Division has information about the flood hazard, flood insurance and floodplain functions. The division keeps copies of the flood maps in paper and digital format for public viewing. The links on the left hand column include the current floodplain map, the Cedar Falls flood brochure, and access to the National Weather Service hydrograph for information on the Cedar River at Cedar Falls. The floodplain map gives some information regarding areas prone to flooding. Additionally, the link to the Iowa Flood Center includes up-to-date articles about flooding and predictions for the entire state. If you live in a flood prone area, please stay aware of changes in flooding throughout the community. Remember, if you see flood water, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” is the best advice for traveling the roads. Information on flood insurance can be found on the FEMA website at www.floodsmart.gov. Contact your insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage.

The Cedar Falls website is a great source of information for our community all year long.

What’s new for floodplain mapping?

Last spring and summer, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources hosted a couple of open house meetings to present the preliminary floodplain maps for Black Hawk County. These meetings provided an opportunity for property owners to review the preliminary maps, ask questions, and provide comments to the Iowa DNR and city staff. The City of Cedar Falls has reviewed these preliminary flood maps and will be providing FEMA with additional data where recent infrastructure projects have changed or improved the flooding capacity of our local streams. This additional data may result in changes to the floodplain maps. FEMA will evaluate this data and make a final determination of the flood hazard boundary. This determination is expected late this year.

The Flood Rate Insurance Maps (FIRM) delineate the boundaries of the flood hazard areas in Cedar Falls. These maps are being revised using the latest technologies and the most current data so residents, homeowners, business owners and community officials may understand the local flood risk and keep people and property safe from floods. The flood mapping process information is found in the Flood Hazard Mapping Fact Sheet that will provide answers to common questions like: What has changed? What if a structure is shown in a different flood zone on the new map? Is there any recourse if I do not agree with the new map? How can I purchase flood insurance? The Summary of Map Actions will provide more information on the changes to the flood maps including a preliminary list of previously issued Letter of Map Change (LOMC) actions.

The following links will provide more information on the preliminary flood maps:
Interactive Preliminary Flood Hazard Map
Flood map index and the Preliminary Flood Maps

Comments and questions can be submitted to the FEMA Map Assistance Center’s toll-free information line at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627).