Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Flooding on the Wabash & Evacuations on Evacuations on the Tippecanoe River

Evacuations are taking place right now on the Tippecanoe River. Evacuations in White County are taking place at Diamond Point, Buffalo, Bluewater, and Monon. I spoke to residents in Monticello and Carroll County and it is not rising as fast and furious as it did just over 3 weeks ago. But the water is high enough that south of the Oakdale Dam in Carroll County, evacuations are taking place between 1200/1225 West and south of County Road 725.

I just got off the phone with Gordy Cochran of Emergency Management and the good news is that the levels downstream of the Oakdale and Norway Dam will not be close to the 100 year flood we saw on January 8th. The bad news is there will still be some significant flooding on the Tippecanoe River. Both dams peaked out between 32,000 and 36,000 cfs on January 8th and based on our WLFI weather forecast we are expecting the levels to peak closer to the 22,000 to 25,000 cfs level. This is all based on how much rain we have tonight. The break in the rain for most of today is critical and it will allow the dam levels to steady off and stay just below the warning criteria of 22,000 cfs.

Tonight based on our special local in-house model there will be another .50 to about 1" of rain in Monticello. This could still change so we will have to watch it. We have a very volatile weather situation. Temperatures have fallen to 36.9 degrees at noon in Monticello and this means the main front or focus of heavier rainfall will likely stay farther south. You can see that in the graphic above with area from Terre Haute to Muncie in the 1 to 3" range. I would not be surprised of 5 or 6 inch rain amounts coming in just south of Indianapolis. If we can keep our local rainfall in the lighter range it looks like most residents along the Tippecanoe River will dodge the worst this time around. Stay tuned and we will keep you posted as this will be an ever-changing situation. It is a good thing we have Live Doppler 18. Remember flood forecasts can change in a hurry and we need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Paul Hadfield south of Decatur, IL last night

The update on the Wabash River is not very good. I spoke to the state climatologist Al Shipe and we have the potential for our highest crest since January of 2005. At one point our WLFI lightning tracker picked up 7,000 cloud to ground lightning strikes per hour between western Illinois and Indiana. Paul went out and captured some more rare mid-winter thunderstorms. The thunderstorms last night were just too much for our saturated ground to handle. Now tonight, we could have a few more pockets of heavy rain and possible thunder. Hopefully we can keep most of those storms south of us because the Wabash River flooding all depends on how much rain we receive tonight. The Weather Service plugged us in for one more inch of rain tonight. This would give us a crest close to 22.4 feet on Thursday afternoon. This would be high enough to once again shut down state road 43. If we get less rain tonight the total would be adjusted downward, but unfortunately I think the front will be close enough to us for at least an inch to maybe 1.5" of rain tonight. You can see we are sitting in a bad area or right along the big temperature contrast from Tippecanoe to Marion County. Our Precisoncast temperatures tell the gloomy story.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the six folks that lost their lives across central and northern Indiana yesterday in some of the worst fog Lafayette has ever seen. Folks got lost in grocery store parking lots it was so bad. The wolves were even tough to find out at Wolf Park.

Monty Sloan's View from Wolf Park

Visibilities actually reached zero in some areas due to all the melting snow, heavy rain, and a tremendous surge warm air that overtook the area. We actually hit 61 degrees late last night before the storms came in. The wild swing in temperatures and stormy weather finally caught up to us. Our weather has been nature's melting pot to say the least. Please stay safe and slow down when traveling tonight and tomorrow. We will have more patchy fog and remember it is hard to see flooded out roadways in the dark. Slippery roads could return on Wedesday with flurries and temperatures falling below freezing. We need to stay patient, please be careful. This historic pattern for wild weather is not showing any signs of letting up any time soon. God bless.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for keeping us posted. It has been a very tough few weeks of weather and the emotions are wearing on residents of the area. Thanks for the words of caution and the best that can be said is God Bless.


Paul said...

Thanks Mike for the picture recognition, last night was indeed a trip though the location was N of Decatur :)