As strong winds continue to blow through the Cedar Rapids area this afternoon, a pair of downtown streets and sidewalks have been closed due to concern over scaffolding on the outside of a downtown building.

Scaffolding that stretches to the top of the 12-story U.S. Bank Building in downtown Cedar Rapids has caused Cedar Rapids Public Works and the Cedar Rapids Police Department to close two streets in the downtown area. Cedar Rapids Police say, "Scaffolding attached to the north side of the building at 226 2nd Avenue SE poses a risk to passers-by and motorists." Winds continue to gust to more than 40 miles per hour in the Cedar Rapids area.

Parts of downtown Cedar Rapids have been blocked off, according to the Cedar Rapids Police Department. The closures impact areas of Cedar Rapids' southeast side, "between 2nd and 5th Street- primarily along 1st Avenue." Police say, "All streets and sidewalks in the immediate area are currently closed and should be avoided."

According to a media release from the City of Cedar Rapids, the street closures are:

  • 1st Avenue East between 2nd Street SE and 5th Street SE
  • 3rd Street SE between 1st Avenue East and 2nd Ave Southeast

The release from the City of Cedar Rapids states,

Street crews are placing traffic barricades until emergency repairs can be completed. An estimated time for repairs is unavailable at this time and will depend upon wind conditions. A detour route is not signed, however traffic will need to seek an alternative route. Local downtown traffic is encouraged to use 2nd or 3rd Avenue SE; through traffic is encouraged to use I-380. Pedestrians are encouraged to use the skywalk or alternative building entrances.

I'm located just a few blocks from the U.S. Bank Building in downtown Cedar Rapids, six floors up. My office windows face toward U.S. Bank, which sits in the 200 block of 2rd Street S.E. All day the windows have been "popping" due to the strong wind gusts while have been routinely reaching 40+ miles per hour since around 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

Below you can see photos as well as a video from the Cedar Rapids Police Department that shows just how strong the winds are in Cedar Rapids.

A Winter Weather Advisory, caused by the possibility of slick conditions due to blowing and drifting snow already on the ground, is in effect for Cedar Rapids until 6 p.m. this evening. Winds could still gust as high as 30 miles per hour tonight.

Cedar Rapids Police Department
Cedar Rapids Police Department
Cedar Rapids Police Department
Cedar Rapids Police Department

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