Wednesday, January 9, 2008

State Road 43 Closes & Tippecanoe County Braces for its Biggest Wabash River Crest in 3 Years!

It is a date I will never forget and that is 1-8-8. Rainfall totals of nearly 10 inches was reported near Buffalo as you see above along with 7.5" just west of Monon. Mary Anne in Remington and Gene and Charlotte in Monon had close to 6 inches of rain. We got about a season's worth of precipitation in about 10 hours with much of it falling in a 6 hour period late Monday night into Tuesday. Want some perspective...this would have been 100 inches of snow along the White and Pulaski County border! The world record for one snowstorm is 189 inches at the Mount Shasta Ski Bowl out in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Now you see why we are talking about a record-breaking flood on the Tippecanoe and Iroquois Rivers. Mary Anne sends us this scary picture from Remington that looks more like the Great Flood of 1993 in the Plains states. The Iroquois River could have its worst flood in its history in both Foresman and Rensselear today so avoid those areas at all costs.

Here in the wee hours of the morning I am still in awe of the power of nature and my thoughts and prayers are with those that lost loved ones and their homes. We had 3 weather related fatalities in our viewing area on Tuesday which were all caused by vehicles being swept away in flooded and washed out roads. This is very tough on me because the reason I am in this business is to protect lives and property. Yes, I love tracking storms, but what drives me is keeping people out of harms way. I have 3 kids and a wife and I try to treat all my viewers like I would my family. I am not a really serious person most of the time, but when it comes to severe weather I am all business. So when I found out a 2 and a 5 year old drowned in a sport utility vehicle yesterday in Rochester my heart just broke. We also lost a friend in Remington who was swept away in Carpenter Creek on his way to work. There were many pictures of submerged vehicles sent in including this one from Vicky and Rick Wilson in Monon.

We have been lucky here at home for the most part because they were the first weather fatalities since the Memorial Day tornado outbreak in 2004 when we had 11 tornadoes in the Lafayette area. A man lost his life not in a tornado but after being struck by lightning. It goes to show you that you can never give too many safety tips and Live Doppler 18 is not just something you can turn to to find out whether you need an umbrella or snow shovel, but it can save your life. More people die in Indiana in floods and due to lightning strikes than tornadoes. This is another very sad example. Leeann Cooper of Monon shows us why it was easier to get around in a boat in Monon yesterday than a car. It only takes 10 inches of water to sweep cars away. Ed is also seen below checking on his flooded mini-van on his all-terrain vehicle. He was wishing he had a jet ski!

I really want to thank all the pictures everybody has sent in. The main thing to remember over the next few days is that the weather may be quiet but the worst is still yet to come for the Wabash River. The highest crest since January 14, 2005 is on the way for the Wabash River in Lafayette. State Road 43 is already being closed between Soldiers Home Road and 443. All the water that fell yesterday has to go somewhere and now it is on its way downstream and moving quickly toward Lafayette. A crest of 22 feet is expected which causes flood concern not only for State Road 43 but the Williamsburg Apartments. The Wildcat and Deer Creeks will be just fine and should stay below flood stage. The Norway and Oakdale dam flows will continue to improve.

I will continue to play catch-up and post as many pictures as I can here on the blog and show as many as I can on the news, but I wanted you to show you one more picture before I take a brief rest. This is a picture sent in by Jodie Waibel and she said her little ones really enjoyed their "rain" day or day off of school from all the flooding. Who would have thought kids would have "rain" days, instead of "snow days" in January which is usually our snowiest month. Only in Indiana!


Anonymous said...

Mike....thank you once again for being our "mouth" so we could keep up with the weather for the viewing area! I personally knew the man who was drowned here in Remington. It is still hard to grasp just how severe this wx event was. My neighbors have been displaced from their homes, not knowing if they can ever return. All had 3-4 feet water inside their homes. This water sat for at leat 12 hours. We had some mud to clean up, a furnace to fix, but we have our home! Many do not, and we continue to pray for them.

Mary Anne in Remington

Curious said...

Just like Kelly told me on the phone yesterday this all came on very quickly and was devistating to a lot of people. My deepest symphaty goes out to the families that lost loved ones in this horrifying event. It definately made me stop and think about some of my future choices!
As I have been a volunteer before, I would like to thank all the volunteers who gave and will be giving much more of their time to help all the flood are appreciated very much:) God Bless to all who have to restart their lives over again, you are thought about in my prayers.
Thank You Mike for your great work and wonderful Blog:)

Leann Cooper