Thursday, July 5, 2007

Another Dramatic Independence Day in the Books & We Remember the Great Flood of 2003

Here is what it looked like from the rooftop of WLFI last night. The fireworks at Purdue lit up the sky. Nature got in on the act with a few flashes of lightning to the north. The good news is nature's grand finale did not come over Lafayette until just after midnight. This allowed everybody to safely get home ahead of all the lightning and heavy rain. It was a little too close for comfort at Indiana Beach. They did get the fireworks in, but it started raining at the very end with rumbles of thunder and bright flashes of lightning in the distance. It apparently was a breath-taking sight. I want to thank all the organizers that called our station last night and kept in close touch with me. We were able to work closely together to make sure that everybody stayed safe and they went the extra step by starting the fireworks shows earlier. As I like to say, better safe than sorry!

Meteorologists do not like to guarantee dry weather this time of year. This graph shows you why. This is a reminder that we are entering the peak of our thunderstorm season. Our high humidity really fuels storms this time of year. We have now had rainfall on Independence Day 7 of the past 8 years. Every year it is a tradition to talk to all the fireworks organizers on the phone. That is okay. I now plan ahead and organized a WLFI picnic with tons of food and great company. Gina made some of the best chocolate chip cookies I have had in awhile. I am still stuffed with all the food I ate! Today I will be ready for what nature cooks up. We should once again have plenty of thick, soupy air in place today. Join me tonight for the latest on Live Doppler 18. We will likely pop another storm or two. No surprises here! In 2003 we had our sauna-like atmosphere combined with a stalled front producing disastrous results. The rain hit right after the 4th of July fireworks. At least this year we are not looking at pictures like this.

Do you remember the great flood of 2003? State road 225 turned into a river. Some areas had an unthinkable amount of rain.

Charlotte Austin in Monon sent this in:

Taken from the Monon News July 9th ,2003
"Monon received over 6 inches during the night of July 4th flooding the streets and homes throughout the town. More rain fell on Sat. night , Sunday afternoon and again on Monday morning raising the total rainfall to just over 10 inches with more rain predicted on Monday night , Tuesday and Wednesday."
How could I forget that year. Charlotte

Thanks Charlotte! I do not think any of us will ever forget the great flood of 2003. Many residents in Americus had to be evacuated from their homes as it looked more like a lake than a town.

Some areas actually reported close to 20 inches of rain in about 10 days which actually comes out to about 8 months worth of rain! Some residents tell me they are still feeling the effects from this flood 4 years later. Here are more stats that put the flood in perspective.

The Deer Creek in Delphi posted a 100 year flood, which actually means the water on average only rises as high as it did every 100 years.

The Iroquois River in Rensselaer also had a 100 year flood. Other streams and points on the Wabash River that made the 100 year club also included the Kokomo Creek near Kokomo and the Wabash River at Linn Grove.

The Wabash River at Covington and Lafayette both were considered 30 year floods. It was the fourth highest crest on record at Lafayette in the last 100 years. Take a look at how we re-wrote history.

The Wabash River at Lafayette's top 5 Crests in the last 100 years (flood stage is 11 feet):

1) 1913 35.10'
2)1943 32.44'
3) 1958 30.27'
4) 2003 28.90'
4) 1936 28.90'

So today, remember before you complain about all the humidity, it can always be worse, much worse. Make it a great one and tomorrow we will talk about not floods, but aphelion and the rest of our July outlook.

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