Heavy Rain and Flooding April/Early May 2011

A very wet weather pattern produced flooding across central Indiana in April 2011 and persisting into May. Periods of thunderstorms moved across the state, especially during the second half of April. In the 30 days ending May 3, parts of central Indiana received an estimated 15-20 inches of rain.  While the rains fell, flooding occurred across roads and in basements across the area. After the rain, rivers flooded. Some river flooding in southern sections of Indiana set records.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel crested at a record height at 5:00 pm CDT May 3, 2011. The 34.02 foot reading topped the January 2005 mark of 33.95 feet. The Wabash River at New Harmony crested at its highest level since May 1943 with a reading near 23.7 feet on May 4, 2011. Some streams saw record flooding as well. Along the East Fork White River in Lawrence and Martin Counties, the duration of high water was nearly unprecedented and caused significant travel problems for local river residents.

Satellite View of Rivers in Flood on Aprll 29 (centered on Mississippi River. Image courtesy of NASA. More information can be found on their site.) :

Satellite View from April 29, courtesy of NASA


Below are some maps of rainfall. The first shows how much rain fell in the 2 weeks ending April 29:

2 week Rainfall ending April 29

This map shows rain that fell in the 30 days ending May 3. Note that the white color indicates 20 inches or more of rainfall:

30 day precipitation, apr 3 to may 3

Percent of normal precipitation for the 30 days ending May 2:

30 day precipitation deviation

Images of flooding from the Vincennes area. Click any image to enlarge:

Vincennes Flooding 1  Vincennes Flooding 2

Vincennes Flooding 3


Photos from the Lake Monroe area (courtesy of Tony A. Roof). Click an image to enlarge:

Lake Monroe Picture - Click to Enlarge near Fairfax - Click to Enlarge

Photos from along the Wabash River (courtesy of K. Wood)

Wabash River 1 - Click to Enlarge Wabash River 2 - Click to Enlarge

Wabash River 3 - Click to Enlarge

Below are some hydrographs (plots of river stage vs. time) that show some of the river flooding for selected sites around central Indiana. These were taken at different dates during the flooding, showing the various impacts across the area:

Prairie Creek near Lebanon:

Hydrograph of Prairie Creek

Big Walnut Creek near Roachdale:

Hydrograph of Big Walnut Creek

Patoka River near Princeton:

Patoka River near Princeton


East Fork White River near Seymour:

Seymour Hydrograph

Lake Monroe:

Lake Monroe hydrograph

Wabash River at Mt. Carmel:

Wabash River at Mt. Carmel


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