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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Cedar River poured over its banks Thursday, forcing the evacuation of more than 3,000 homes, causing a railroad bridge to collapse and leaving cars underwater on downtown streets.

Officials estimated that 100 blocks were underwater in Cedar Rapids, where several days of preparation could not hold back the rain-swollen river. Rescuers had to use boats to reach many stranded residents, and people could be seen dragging suitcases up closed highway exit ramps to escape the water.

“We’re just kind of at God’s mercy right now, so hopefully people that never prayed before this, it might be a good time to start,” Linn County Sheriff Don Zeller said. “We’re going to need a lot of prayers and people are going to need a lot of patience and understanding.”

Go here for the remainder of the AP story:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-dams-flooding-jun12,0,3170273.story

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