The Cedar River could swamp downtown Cedar Falls soon. Authorities have just issued an “urgent” message to residents and businesses in the area, warning them the river will “exceed” the levy that protects the downtown area of Cedar Falls.

Businesses along and around Main Street in Cedar Falls have been told to close and police have blocked off the downtown area to incoming traffic. A sandbagging effort was launched in the parking lot of the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls at 11 o’clock.

Officials say Cedar Falls Utilities, which is near the river, is “operating under a contingency plan” and the utility’s customer service lines are operating out of the Cedar Falls City Hall right now. City Hall itself is closed to all regular business, focusing on emergency efforts right now.