June 2008 Flooding Event

    There was a significant series of precipitation events during the month of June that led to record flooding in portions of central and southeast Illinois. The first series occurred on June 2nd into the 4th. In the overnight hours leading into June 3nd, several training clusters of thunderstorms moved mainly across central Illinois. The highest rainfall amounts from these storms ranged from 2 to 4 inches. The storms exited the state late in the morning on the 3rd. An outflow boundary, laid out by the morning convection, was the focus for more showers and thunderstorms later that evening. Additional precipitation amounts of generally 1 to 3 inches fell during this time period, with locally higher amounts. Many flash flood warnings were issued for counties in the Lincoln NWS County Warning Area. This precipitation also pushed many of Central Illinois’ rivers above flood stage. These include locations along the Illinois R., Sangamon R., Salt Creek, Vermilion R., Embarras R., and Little Wabash R.

    On the 6th of June slow moving, strong convection pushed through southeastern portions of the Lincoln NWS County Warning Area. Copious rainfall amounts, generally ranging from 3 to 7 inches, fell from these storms. The highest rainfall report came from Clark County…9.10”! This chain of events led to significant rises along the Embarras and Wabash Rivers. As a result, record flooding was seen at Ste. Marie and Lawrenceville along the Embarras River. The high water caused multiple levee locations along the Embarras River in Jasper and Lawrence Counties to fail from June 8th into the 10th, but not before record river stages were reached at both locations.  A flash flood warning was issued in advance of the initial levee failure in Jasper County. Timely communication with Emergency Managers in Jasper and Lawrence Counties aided the Lincoln NWS staff in issuing subsequent warnings for additional levee failures. In addition to the Embarras River, levees also failed along the Wabash River. This allowed even more water to flow into Lawrence County, further inundating the area.


Hydrographs from the Ste. Marie and Lawrenceville river gage locations.

Click on the images below for full res versions.

Ste. Marie along the Embarras River
(Jasper County)

Lawrenceville along the Embarras River
(Lawrence County)


Lawrence County Flood Pictures (Courtesy Lawrence County EMA)

Monthly Precipitation for June 2008


 Monthly Precipitation Percent of Mean



Precipitation reports from Cooperative Weather Observers and automated weather stations

24 hr precipitation
ending around 9 am on 6/3/08
24 hr precipitation
ending around 9 am on 6/4/08
24 hr precipiation
ending around 9 am on 6/7/08

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