Monday, September 15, 2008

We Dodge the Worst of Ike! Area Rivers in Good Shape

It could have been a whole lot worse. We just happened to be in the perfect place as the eye of what once was hurricane Ike went over Tippecanoe County. The worst of the flooding stayed to our northwest and the worst of the wind was to our southeast. Historic rain amounts hit Chicago with 6.64" recorded on Saturday which was their heaviest one day rain since records have been kept in 1871. Overall some areas were close to 10 inches of total rainfall. The dark purple and white areas above were in the 8 to 10 inch range for total rainfall. This is almost a summer's worth of rain in one weekend! This easily could have been us! Thanks for sparing us Ike. Here are a few local rainfall amounts closer to home and there were a couple area really walloped in Newton and Jasper Counties.

Notice those wind-whipped and soaked banana trees below in Buck Creek yesterday. Melissa Parrish said her banana trees felt right at home in this weather. Those dewpoints certainly were very tropical yesterday helping to produce rain that was moving sideways. Thanks Melissa!

The best news of all is that the water levels are not even close to where they were in January and even though Carpenter Creek was out of its banks in Remington there were no reports of major flooding. The areas hardest hit seemed to be Rensselaer and the Kentland and Goodland areas per Mary Anne in Remington (The "Best" weather network) with plenty of basements full of water. The good news is that the Wabash and Tippecanoe are in good shape with most of the rain falling outside the Wabash Watershed. The only river "flooding" crest I could find in our viewing area will be on the Iroqouis River in Rensselaer with a crest of 12.7 feet expected on Tuesday which is only .7 feet above the flood stage of 12 feet. So we can all breathe a sigh of relief!

Here are some storm stories from where you live. I appreciate all of your e-mails. The news is much more positive than it was in January.


Not nearly as bad as January! We drove back from Akron, IN near Rochester on highway 14 and 41 this evening. No high water issues on those roads in Newton County. The Iroquois is on the rise but most of the water has not reached Newton Co. yet. An August with 1.49 inches of rain allow much of this rainfall to soak in. My local gauge is the “Kent Ditch” in Kentland and it reached approximately ½ the level of Jan. Did not attempt to travel county roads but no one I spoke on the phone indicated flooding issues. No news is good news!

John (Kentland) far...Rensselaer seems the worst with Kentland/Goodland following in and I'm still only pumping seepage that's coming in and pumping out and praying that it never starts to build up to cause any furnace or water heater damage. Kathy said their water is up over the slab their furnace sits on already.
Just talked to Kathy Laffoon and they've got both pumps going and she said their water in the basement is up to the first step.

Mary Anne (Remington)

The news was not so good once you got up into the Munster area in Indiana and back into northern Illinois. Here are some places to avoid if you are traveling northwest today.

Here in Lafayette I will never forget seeing the eye of Ike pass over. You can make it out above. It is highlighted in yellow with a half-circle right over Lafayette. Our wind gusts actually died down from 20 to 25 mph out ahead of the center of Ike to near calm conditions for about 25 minutes as its former eye went over. Then as Ike moved by the wind gusts picked up to 40 to 45 mph on the backside. This is pretty impressive considering how much land it has traveled over and it was hard to believe this eye of Ike once helped kick up a 130 mph wind gust in its eye wall on Galveston Island. Even more exciting to me was that this weather system began just off the coast of Africa and it made it all the way into our backyards. It is something you just do not see too often here in the Midwest. Areas to Ike's northwest saw plenty of flooding over the weekend so even though it was a meteorological phenomenon it has also caused dangerous flooding with at least one fatality reported in Porter County in Indiana. Here is the latest on the flooding situation from INDOT.

Sept. 14, 2008, 10:05 p.m.

INDOT Announces Area Highways Closed Due to High Water

Northern Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces some highways in northern Indiana are closed due to high water. INDOT crews and Indiana State Police are on the scene redirecting traffic.

The following roads are currently closed:

I-80/94 between U.S. 41 (Calumet Avenue) and State Road 152 (Cline Avenue) in Lake County
Detour: Eastbound I-80/94 - NB Calumet Ave. to EB Cline Ave. back to I-80/94; Westbound I-80/94 – WB Cline Ave. to SB Calumet Ave. back to I-80/94.
Alternate: Indiana Toll Road (I-90)

State Road 2 between I-65 and U.S. 231 in Lake County

State Road 51 between U.S. 6 and Fairview in Lake Station, Lake County

State Road 53 between 101st and 93rd in Crown Point, Lake County

Eastbound lanes of U.S. 30 between State Road 2 and Seger Road in Porter County

State Road 149 between U.S. 6 and 600 North in Porter County

U.S. 6 between State Road 149 and Meridian Road in Porter County

Motorists in these areas should seek an alternate route. INDOT crews and ISP are on scene to redirect traffic around the closures in addition to signage.

Due to the heavy rainfalls over the past few days many state, city and county roads have water on the roadway and shoulders. When possible these areas are marked with “High Water” signage. When encountering a flooded roadway, INDOT urges drivers to remember “Turn around, don’t drown.” According to the National Weather Service, most flooding deaths occur in automobiles. Six inches of standing water is enough to cause passenger cars to stall and a foot of water will float many vehicles.

Flood warnings will continue until 11 a.m. EDT for Newton, Jasper, and Benton Counties today but could last much longer for areas back in Illinois and extreme northern Indiana.

It was Ike's one-two punch as it moved through the Midwest yesterday. Not only was there plenty of flooding but it turned into a fierce wind storm due to a very low pressure which dipped to 29.21 inches in Lafayette which was the lowest in the state. This caused the wind to speed up as it was forced to rush toward its center to keep equilibrium in the atmosphere. Check out our wind gusts here in Indiana below. Notice we once again got off lucky here in Lafayette.

Notice the tree down on the power line in the picture above. Here is another storm story from where you live yesterday.

We were all taking a great Sunday afternoon nap, when we heard a nice thud outside. Our daughter, Abbie, came running into to let us know that part of the tree was broken, and it had landed on the electric line. Of course, rainy day nap was ruined, but we got lots of pictures! Annie Shaw---Attica

Thanks Annie! I also have an Abbey and she likes to come running to me also when there are big weather events going on. I am glad everybody is safe in Attica after a 50 mph wind gust was recorded. We were very lucky compared to areas to the south with near hurricane force gusts outside of thunderstorms recorded in Seymour. Louisville had about a quarter million folks without power yesterday with 81 mph wind gusts. The amazing part was it was sunny outside as shingles and siding were ripped from homes. Hurricane force wind gusts were also recorded in Lebanon, Ohio. They recorded a 78 mph wind gust with Wilmington, Ohio not far behind with a 77 mph wind gust. Many folks in the Midwest felt like they were being hit with a category one hurricane at times yesterday that is for sure!

Blog question of the day: Did the Blizzard of 2007 or Tropical Depression Ike have a lower pressure when it moved through Indiana? (answer on the news)

What a memorable day Sunday was but remember Ike was twice the normal size of a hurricane and even though it has weakened it will still play a big role in our weather this week with some of the coolest weather of the season. Tune in today for the latest on this with Weather Team 18 and I will also have the latest on how Ike stacked up with previous tropical systems to impact Lafayette and how long some of this much-needed drier weather will last. Thanks again for all your pictures. I will keep posting as many as I can below.
At one time yesterday it did look like a blizzard when the rain was falling so hard as Justin confirmed. Mary Anne in Remington recorded a rainfall rate of 2.66 inches per hour. Incredible! It will be one I will always remember and I am glad I got to spend it with such wonderful viewers and bloggers. Have a wonderful Monday and stay warm!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike for all the info. You do a great job with your blog. Always interesting reading.

brow said...

Huge difference in temps.

It was so strange because I remember going outside a few times during the Colts game yesterday. It went from muggy to flat out chilly!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday was really something, I could not pull my self from the computer radars!

I did get rained on today during my lunch hour, the ole umbrella left in the building where I work.

teri in Laf