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 and Cedar River information. 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?

Recently, the City of Cedar Falls received their set of preliminary Flood Rate Insurance Maps (FIRM) from FEMA. The FIRM delineates 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.

As a result of these map changes, some buildings in Cedar Falls may, for the first time, be included in a flood zone, known as the Special Flood Hazard Area. The City of Cedar Falls is reviewing these preliminary flood maps to make sure they are accurate based on past and current projects in that particular flood zone. The City will provide FEMA with additional data in certain areas where recent infrastructure projects have changed or improved the flooding capacity of our local streams. This additional information may result in changes to the final FIRM.

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).