CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Officials in Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas are preparing for flooding as the National Weather Service adjusted predictions of when the Cedar River there will crest.

The service now says the river will crest Sunday afternoon at 17.5 feet (5.33 meters) — 5.5 feet (1.68 meters) above flood stage. It had earlier predicted the river would crest at 16.5 feet on Thursday, but more heavy rain has fallen in the area.

In the Cedar Rapids suburb of Palo, officials have opened a sandbagging station for public use. City employees also were placing sandbags around parts of the city's wastewater facility.

About 40 miles to the west near Belle Plaine, the Iowa Department of Transportation has closed a stretch of Highway 21 because of flooding.

Flood warnings are continuing for other eastern Iowa rivers because of heavy rainfall on already saturated soil. They include the Iowa River at Columbus Junction, the Maquoketa River at Maquoketa and the Wapsipinicon River at DeWitt.