Skip to comments.INDIANA FLOOD PAGE
Posted on 01/14/2005 1:52:41 PM PST by Military family member
During the first 6 days of January, moderate to heavy rains fell on soils already saturated from snowmelt.
Rainfall totals for January 1 through 6 ranged from more than 2 inches in north-central Indiana to more than 6 inches in south-central Indiana. Significant flooding occurred on Indiana rivers and streams, particularly in central and southern Indiana. Rivers affected included the Big Blue River, White River, East Fork White River, and Wabash River. More moderate to heavy rains on January 11 and January 13 brought rivers and streams across Indiana up again.
January 13: The Wabash River at Mt Carmel streamflow-gaging station recorded a river level of 33.95 this morning at 7:00 am; this level is nearly one foot above the 1913 crest of 33.00 feet. The lower White River was receding in the Petersburg area this morning; however, the White River on the north side of Indianapolis was rising in response to Tuesday's rainfall. Levels this morning at the White River at Noblesville station exceeded levels recorded during the flooding that occurred on January 6 and 7. Moderate to heavy rain was falling across much of Indiana this morning, causing small streams to begin to rise. This morning USGS crews were dispatched to Fort Wayne, Crawfordsville, and Arcadia in northern Hamilton County to make streamflow measurements at gaging stations. Crews plan to make measurements at Stony Creek near Noblesville and White River at Noblesville this afternoon.
January 12: At 7:00 am, automated equipment at the USGS Wabash River at Mt Carmel streamflow-gaging station recorded a river level of 33.85 feet, the highest level ever recorded at this station. The current river level is 0.85 feet above the 1913 flood peak. USGS crews will be measuring streamflow at the Mt Carmel station today to verify the accuracy of data from the station. Yesterday crews measured streamflow at the White River at Petersburg and Wabash River at Riverton stations.
Some smaller streams in central Indiana peaked last night because of heavy rains at similar levels to last week (January 5 and 6). USGS crews have been focusing on southwest Indiana the last several days, but will move north this evening in case central or northern Indiana receive heavy rains tonight.
January 11: Automated equipment at the USGS streamflow-gaging station Wabash at Mt. Carmel today recorded a historic river level of 33.08 feet--the highest river level measured since the 1913 flood peak of 33.00 feet. The 33.08 level was recorded at 3:00 am on January 11 and the river was still rising. This level is the highest in the history of this station (records date back to 1875).
USGS crews today will make streamflow measurements at the White River at Petersburg and Wabash River at Riverton stations as levels peak, then will head to Mt. Carmel to make a measurement late today or early tomorrow. Yesterday crews made measurements at the streamflow gaging stations East Fork White River at Bedford and East Fork White River at Shoals and confirmed the accuracy of the discharge data from those stations. Accurate discharge data is vital to the National Weather Service for forecasting flood crests.
The temperature outside right now is about 20 degrees, meaning all those homes under water are now being frozen and/or crushed by the contractions of freezing water.
We are experiencing record levels for all the rivers in the area. Newly elected Gov. Mitch Daniels has already called for federal disaster relief.
I spent my childhood in Evansville swimming in the Ohio River backwaters.
Is the whole state having flooding or just the south? My parents have a house right on a river in Rochester IN.
Doesn't water expand as it freezes?
there is flooding all odver the state. Decatur, Indiana is completely isolated, according my parents who live 170 miles northeast of Terre Haute.
It's the whole state. I live north of Indianapolis. It's bad here and farther north it is worse.
Either way, local experts are saying that the houses are probably finished.
I've seen pictures of homes flooded above second story windows.
I'm 40 miles south of Ft Wayne on the Mississinewa. High water, closed roads, homes evacuated. The water is receding, thank Heaven.
I don't want to get too technical here, but it turns to ice with a lower specific gravity than when it was water.
anyone know how things look in bloomington?
Thanks for the update.
Or as we call it here, the People's Republic of Bloomington...I think they are just as bad as everywhere else.
Now you won't have to leave your house! You can use the front porch as a diving board
no kidding! you live in bloomington?
As parts of levee fail, work begins on a new one
Posted: Friday, Jan 14, 2005 - 10:15:54 am EST
By SUZY HEICHELBECH Staff Writer
HAZLETON-Wednesday night proved to be by far the worst night so far for officials at the Hazleton levee, as parts of the levee collapsed four times allowing some of White River water that for days has tried to push past its barrier, to flow into the town.
Hazleton Fire Chief Mike Ellis said a 30 inch storm sewer pipe that goes through the levee failed. "We originally thought the end of the pipe on the river side had opened up letting water into the levee, but we realized that there was a leak in the pipe within the levee, causing the water to swell up inside," he said. "We began rolling sandbags around both sides of the levee to give it extra support. The first collapse occurred at 2:15 a.m., it was one foot across."
Chief Ellis describes that collapse as a slump, saying that a slump caves in, sucking the sandbags inside. "There was a National Guard member standing on the part that collapsed, when he began to feel it he jumped off," said Chief Ellis.
Troops did not stop their work, they quickly began redoubling their sandbagging efforts to build up the levee and make it stronger.
The second collapse was at 2:40 a.m. and the third happened about an hour later, Ellis said. The third cave-in being the worst. "It actually slumped below the river's height. Water began coming into the town. We quickly began pumping the water out of the streets back into the river," Chief Ellis said.
The fourth collapse happened in a different area. It was a small collapse near Brown Street. Mark Ellis, brother of the fire chief, said that collapse happened as troops examined that part of the levee. "We had a few volunteers located at the levee on Brown Street," he said. "It just so happens some members of the National Guard went over there to check on them. As soon as they made it over the top of the levee collapsed. They immediately began applying sandbags."
Chief Ellis said they knew they were in the midst of a heavy battle so they had a county-wide page for all available firefighters in the county to come help sandbag, hoping to create a sandbag dome that might give the levee extra height.
Hazleton firefighter Greg Longabaugh was brought to tears as he described what it was like being on the levee when it started to collapse.
"I don't know how to describe it in words. It just started sucking a big hole straight down, the sandbags just fell straight down," he said with obvious emotion. "It is amazing how those troops just started running around packing sandbags, they could not go fast enough. No one used the bathroom, no one ate.
"If there is any praise to be given for that levee still being there, it goes to God and the National Guard."
Chief Ellis agreed with Longabaugh's praise of levee workers.
"The National Guard, volunteers and firemen saved this town. If any of them would have stopped when that levee collapsed we would have lost the levee completely," he said.
While still optimistic about the integrity of the levee, the chief knows the situation could worsen at any time.
"It's not over yet, it could still cave in more. It's a wait and see game right now, but one thing is for sure this one about got us," said Chief Ellis.
Geology hydrologists from Louisville were brought in to help determine the best steps to take with the latest levee developments.
"They are making studies, coming up with scenarios to help fight off the problem," said Chief Ellis.
The solution they came up with was to build a new levee out of rock.
As if the collapse of parts of the levee was not enough to deal with, Chief Ellis said many other problems came up throughout Wednesday evening.
"We still had boils popping up, Haz-mat was called in to deal with sewage problems and all troops, volunteers and fireman have to now get tetanus shots if they work near the water or handle sand bags for fear of contaminated water," he said. "With sewer problems and so many thing moving downstream we are taking precautionary measures in case there is any contamination in the water."
The physical and emotional effects may be beginning to take a toll on levee workers, as well. Local volunteers and firefighters have been working since Sunday.
"The National Guard is trained to do this sort of thing , but our guys are not," said head kitchen cook volunteer Joyce Ellis, the chief's wife.
Chad Ellis, the chief's nephew, said he thinks local volunteers are doing a great job protecting the community.
"I over heard the governor talk about how great the guard was and what a good job they are doing, but I believe our locals are doing great also," he said. "There have been times where there were more local civilians on the ground than guard troops. People I've never seen before coming from all over the county to help, it's unbelievable."
Chief Ellis insisted the fight to contain the river will go on and whether it is local civilians, fire fighters or troops doing the work, there is still plenty to face in the coming days.
"We have to concentrate on boils, and soft spots, as well as the possibility for more cave-ins, but we are also worried about the freezing temperatures," he said. "It will make our job more difficult and possibly could freeze up our pumps. We are not going to let this thing go without a fight."
Here are some photos of the flooded areas:
The post I made on Hazleton is a town about 35 miles north of Evansville, in Southwestern Indiana. I don't know if you remember it or anything.
As lousy as all the rain has been, be thankful you're not in the Anderson-Muncie area. I understand that there are still some who do not have power nine days after that ice storm last week.
Hmm.. I grew up in Marion.
Sounds like you're near my folk's hometown of Marion.
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