August 4, 2009

Record-breaking heavy rains fell in Jefferson County, Kentucky, as well as Floyd and Clark Counties in Indiana as strong thunderstorms regenerated over the area.  Rainfall amounts up to 6 inches fell between 7am and 10am EDT, especially in central Louisville.  Five inches of rain fell in 90 minutes from 7:45am to 9:15am, and rainfall rates up to an astounding 8.80 inches per hour were reported.

There were no fatalities or injuries.  A woman and two children were trapped and then rescued in New Albany.  Ten kittens and a dog at the metro animal services shelter in Louisville drowned when the building flooded.

In Louisville, nearly 200 people were rescued by emergency workers from the tops of cars and houses.  About 50 people were rescued by boat from a University of Louisville administrative office building.  Two children were pulled from a swollen creek when neighbors saw them get swept away as they walked too close to the stream.  Water was reported up to several feet deep in parts of Louisville.  Cars were submerged in a downtown parking lot.  Major flooding affected Churchill Downs and surrounding neighborhoods.  Interstates 65 and 264 were closed.  Floodwaters poured into homes and engulfed Louisville's main public library downtown, several area hospitals, horse barns at Churchill Downs, and the University of Louisville campus.  Thousands of books were destroyed at the Louisville downtown library, with a million dollars in damage.

Other water rescues were also reported in New Albany as well as in Sellersburg.  Massive flooding occurred in New Albany, where cars were set alfoat.  Up to three feet of water was on the streets of Jeffersonville, stalling vehicles.  Water entered homes and businesses in Lanesville.

Officially at Standiford International Airport (SDF), 4.53 inches of rain fell, which broke the old record for highest rainfall in a single day in August (set back in 1879).  Three inches of that rain fell in just one hour.

Dozens of flood warnings and statements were issued by the Louisville office of the National Weather Service.  The average time between the issuance of a flood warning and the beginning of flooding was 63 minutes.  The weather office received e-mails from the public thanking the meteorologists for issuing the flood products in a timely manner to give people ample warning of the unfolding disaster.

 Below is a rainfall map constructed on the day of the flood.  Note the amazing bullseye of torrential rainfall centered right over downtown Louisville and New Albany.

regional view Click on the image to see a regional 24-hour precipitation totals map constructed on the morning after the flood.
Louisville Click on this image to see a precipitation map zoomed in on Louisville.

 

Timeline of the day's events, and products issued by your National Weather Service office in Louisville.
 

 Photos:
(click on the image for a larger version)

 

Bullitt County

Storm clouds moving into Bullitt County.  
Walter Kalewski

Bullitt County

Storm clouds threatening northern Bullitt County.
 Walter Kalewski

3rd and Magnolia

Third and Magnolia Streets in Louisville.
Mike Howard

 3rd and Magnolia

These cars were picked up and moved by the floodwaters at 3rd and Magnolia.
Mike Howard

water rescue

Water rescue in Louisville.
E on U.S.

 Churchill Downs 3

Churchill Downs Track.  John Asher

Louisville flooding

Louisville flooding.
NWS

good advice

University of Louisville.
E on U.S.

submerged

University of Louisville.
Mike Howard

New Albany

Elkin and Thirteenth Streets in 
New Albany.
Randy Lescault 

Pewee Valley


KY 362 near Pewee Valley.
Brandon Terry

 Churchill Downs 2

Churchill Downs Entrance.
John Asher

 This event has been featured at the National Weather Association's 36th Annual Meeting.

Preliminary Local Storm reports:

0545 AM     HAIL             2 E PROSPECT            38.35N  85.57W
08/04/2009  E0.75 INCH       OLDHAM             KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

            MARBLE SIZED HAIL JUST EAST OF PROSPECT.

0745 AM     HAIL             CHARLESTOWN             38.45N  85.67W
08/04/2009  E1.00 INCH       CLARK              IN   AMATEUR RADIO

            QUARTER TO GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL.

0750 AM     HAIL             SELLERSBURG             38.39N  85.76W
08/04/2009  E1.00 INCH       CLARK              IN   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            AT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

0755 AM     TSTM WND DMG     1 N CEMENTVILLE         38.36N  85.75W
08/04/2009                   CLARK              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            TREES DOWN NEAR INTERSTATE 65 AT EXIT 9.

0814 AM     FLASH FLOOD      JEFFERSONVILLE          38.30N  85.73W
08/04/2009                   CLARK              IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STREAMS OUT OF BANKS.

0820 AM     TSTM WND DMG     LOUISVILLE              38.22N  85.74W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          KY   AMATEUR RADIO

            LARGE LIMBS DOWN. ESTIMATED 60 MPH GUST. AT I-64 AND
            HURSTBOURNE.

0821 AM     FLASH FLOOD      SELLERSBURG             38.39N  85.76W
08/04/2009                   CLARK              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            WATER RESCUE FROM A VEHICLE IN LAKE SIDE ESTATES.

0823 AM     FLASH FLOOD      CHARLESTOWN             38.45N  85.67W
08/04/2009                   CLARK              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            HIGH STREET IS CLOSED DUE TO FLOODING.

0825 AM     FLASH FLOOD      SCOTTSBURG              38.69N  85.78W
08/04/2009                   SCOTT              IN   EMERGENCY MNGR

            BOWMAN ROAD IS CLOSED BY HIGH WATER BETWEEN SCOTTSBURG
            AND AUSTIN.

0828 AM     HAIL             JEFFERSONVILLE          38.30N  85.73W
08/04/2009  E1.00 INCH       CLARK              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            AT THE YMCA.

0850 AM     FLASH FLOOD      NEW ALBANY              38.30N  85.83W
08/04/2009                   FLOYD              IN   EMERGENCY MNGR

            CARS FLOATING ON SCRIBNER... MASSIVE DOWNTOWN FLOODING

0850 AM     FLASH FLOOD      LOUISVILLE              38.22N  85.74W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            WATER RESCUE ON EAST GREY STREET. SEVERAL FEET OF WATER
            ON SECOND STREET.

0852 AM     HAIL             LOUISVILLE              38.22N  85.74W
08/04/2009  E0.75 INCH       JEFFERSON          KY   AMATEUR RADIO

0904 AM     HEAVY RAIN       JEFFERSONVILLE          38.30N  85.73W
08/04/2009  M3.55 INCH       CLARK              IN   NWS EMPLOYEE

0906 AM     FLASH FLOOD      JEFFERSONVILLE          38.30N  85.73W
08/04/2009                   CLARK              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            3 FEET OF WATER ON EASTERN BOULEVARD... VEHICLE STUCK

0915 AM     FLASH FLOOD      LOUISVILLE              38.22N  85.74W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

            I-65 CLOSED DOWN IN DOWNTOWN. OVER 5 INCHES OF RAIN
            REPORTED IN THE LAST 90 MINUTES AT TIME OF REPORT

0930 AM     FLASH FLOOD      SELLERSBURG             38.39N  85.76W
08/04/2009                   CLARK              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            HIGHWAY 31 IS CLOSED DUE TO HIGH WATER FROM SELLERSBURG
            TO HENRYVILLE.

0932 AM     FLASH FLOOD      LOUISVILLE              38.22N  85.74W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          KY   NWS EMPLOYEE

            BROWNSBORO ROAD IS CLOSED WEST OF CLIFTON.

0940 AM     FLASH FLOOD      NEW ALBANY              38.30N  85.83W
08/04/2009                   FLOYD              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            WOMAN AND TWO CHILDREN TRAPPED AND RESCUED IN WATER ON
            VALLEY VIEW RD NEAR CHERRY STREET

0949 AM     HEAVY RAIN       LOUISVILLE              38.22N  85.74W
08/04/2009  M5.34 INCH       JEFFERSON          KY   MESONET

            RAINFALL SINCE 7 AM. AUTOMATED GAGE IN THE RUBBERTOWN
            AREA.

0953 AM     HAIL             SHIVELY                 38.20N  85.81W
08/04/2009  E0.88 INCH       JEFFERSON          KY   BROADCAST MEDIA

1009 AM     LIGHTNING        LOUISVILLE              38.22N  85.74W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

            4 ALARM APARTMENT FIRE ON HURSTBOURNE LANE NEAR
            INTERSTATE 64.

1012 AM     FLASH FLOOD      NEW ALBANY              38.30N  85.83W
08/04/2009                   FLOYD              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            WATER RESCUE CORYDON PIKE JUST SOUTH OF NEW ALBANY

1015 AM     FLASH FLOOD      LOUISVILLE              38.22N  85.74W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          KY   BROADCAST MEDIA

            800 BUILDING DOWNTOWN CARS SUBMERGED IN PARKING LOT

1018 AM     FLASH FLOOD      SHIVELY                 38.20N  85.81W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          KY   BROADCAST MEDIA

            ROADS FLOODED IN SHIVELY

1023 AM     HEAVY RAIN       VALLEY STATION          38.10N  85.86W
08/04/2009  E1.00 INCH       JEFFERSON          KY   BROADCAST MEDIA

            ESTIMATED RAIN RATE 4 INCHES PER HOUR

1025 AM     FLASH FLOOD      JEFFERSONVILLE          38.30N  85.73W
08/04/2009                   CLARK              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            SEVERAL AREAS ARE CLOSED ALONG HIGHWAY 62 IN CLARK
            COUNTY

1040 AM     FLASH FLOOD      2 S LOUISVILLE          38.20N  85.74W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          KY   BROADCAST MEDIA

            NUMBER OF ROADS HAVE 1 TO 2 FEET OF WATER AND
            RESIDENTIAL FLOODING OF BASEMENTS NEAR CHURCHILL DOWNS

1105 AM     FLASH FLOOD      LANESVILLE              38.24N  85.98W
08/04/2009                   HARRISON           IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            LITTLE INDIAN CREEK IN LANESVILLE FLOODING AND ENTERING
            BASEMENTS OF SOME BUILDINGS ON THE NORTH SIDE OF STATE
            ROAD 62.

1106 AM     FLASH FLOOD      HILLVIEW                38.07N  85.69W
08/04/2009                   BULLITT            KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            ROAD BARRICADE AND CLOSURE HILLVIEW BLVD. BETWEEN TERRY
            ROAD AND EARLYWOOD ROAD ... 16 TO 18 INCHES OF SWIFTLY
            MOVING WATER OVER ROADWAY

1106 AM     FLASH FLOOD      ELIZABETH               38.13N  85.97W
08/04/2009                   HARRISON           IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            BUCK CREEK IS COVERING SOME ROADS.

0145 PM     TSTM WND GST     SALEM                   38.60N  86.10W
08/04/2009  E60 MPH          WASHINGTON         IN   DEPT OF HIGHWAYS

            NUMEROUS TREES DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTY

0153 PM     FLASH FLOOD      SCOTTSBURG              38.69N  85.78W
08/04/2009                   SCOTT              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY 31 AND 56 CLOSED DUE TO HIGH
            WATER.

0157 PM     FLASH FLOOD      SELLERSBURG             38.39N  85.76W
08/04/2009                   CLARK              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            WATER RESCUE FROM A VEHICLE ON HIGHWAY 31.

0204 PM     TSTM WND DMG     GOSHEN                  38.41N  85.59W
08/04/2009                   OLDHAM             KY   CO-OP OBSERVER

            TREE ON HOUSE ON HARMONY LANDING ROAD. OCCUPANTS ARE
            TRAPPED INSIDE.

0212 PM     TSTM WND DMG     LOUISVILLE              38.22N  85.74W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          KY   BROADCAST MEDIA

            8 INCH LIMB DOWNED AT TV STUDIO.

0215 PM     FLASH FLOOD      CANAAN                  38.87N  85.30W
08/04/2009                   JEFFERSON          IN   COUNTY OFFICIAL

            COUNTY ROAD 250 IS IMPASSABLE. ROADS NEAR CREEKS
            JEFFERSON COUNTY ARE IMPASSABLE.

0215 PM     FLASH FLOOD      EDWARDSVILLE            38.28N  85.90W
08/04/2009                   FLOYD              IN   DEPT OF HIGHWAYS

            SEVERAL ROADS WASHED OUT TO ONE LANE ACROSS COUNTY...
            INCLUDING EDWARDSVILLE ROAD... CORYDON PIKE... AND TWO
            MILE LANE.

0224 PM     FLASH FLOOD      BEDFORD                 38.59N  85.32W
08/04/2009                   TRIMBLE            KY   DEPT OF HIGHWAYS

            BRIDGES AND LOW WATER CROSSINGS IN THE BEDFORD AREA ARE
            UNDER WATER...INCLUDING HIGHWAYS 754 AND 625.

0230 PM     TSTM WND DMG     STAMPING GROUND         38.27N  84.69W
08/04/2009                   SCOTT              KY   BROADCAST MEDIA

            TREES DOWN AND POSSIBLY SOME STRUCTURAL DAMAGE.

0230 PM     TSTM WND DMG     STAMPING GROUND         38.27N  84.69W
08/04/2009                   SCOTT              KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            NUMEROUS BUILDINGS WERE DAMAGED. TREES AND POWER LINES
            DOWN AND POWER POLES SNAPPED. NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF
            HIGHWAY 227 AND SEEBEE.

0233 PM     HEAVY RAIN       MADISON                 38.76N  85.38W
08/04/2009  E3.00 INCH       JEFFERSON          IN   CO-OP OBSERVER

            3.00 INCHES AT CLIFTY CREEK SINCE THIS MORNING

0240 PM     HEAVY RAIN       JEFFERSONVILLE          38.30N  85.73W
08/04/2009  M5.50 INCH       CLARK              IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            FELL SINCE 7 AM THIS MORNING.

0245 PM     LIGHTNING        CYNTHIANA               38.39N  84.30W
08/04/2009                   HARRISON           KY   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            LIGHTNING CAUSED A FIRE ON THE NORTH END OF THE COUNTY

0245 PM     LIGHTNING        CYNTHIANA               38.39N  84.30W
08/04/2009                   HARRISON           KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            BARN BURNED ON RENAKER ROAD DUE TO LIGHTNING STRIKE
            BETWEEN BERRY AND CYNTHIANA

0245 PM     FLASH FLOOD      GEORGETOWN              38.20N  84.55W
08/04/2009                   SCOTT              KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            SEVERAL ROADS IMPASSABLE WITH 1 TO 2 FEET OF WATER
            FLOWING OVER THEM JUST NORTH OF GEOGRETOWN

0246 PM     TSTM WND DMG     STAMPING GROUND         38.27N  84.69W
08/04/2009                   SCOTT              KY   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            NUMEROUS TREES AND POWER POLES DOWN. DAMAGE TO TWO
            HOUSES.

0248 PM     TSTM WND DMG     NEW ALBANY              38.30N  85.83W
08/04/2009                   FLOYD              IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            TREE DOWN ON 5 MILE LANE.

0254 PM     TSTM WND DMG     LEAVENWORTH             38.20N  86.35W
08/04/2009                   CRAWFORD           IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TREE DOWN ON A HOUSE.

0255 PM     TSTM WND DMG     10 NE FRANKFORT         38.29N  84.73W
08/04/2009                   SCOTT              KY   COUNTY OFFICIAL

            GROVE OF TREES WERE DOWNED NEAR SULPHER LICK
            ROAD...SNAVELY ROAD AND ROCK BRANCH ROAD

0300 PM     TSTM WND DMG     STEPHENSBURG            37.63N  86.02W
08/04/2009                   HARDIN             KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TREES DOWNED AND A SMALL OUTBUILDING FLIPPED OVER.

0305 PM     FLASH FLOOD      PEWEE VALLEY            38.31N  85.49W
08/04/2009                   OLDHAM             KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

            8 TO 10 INCHES OF FAST FLOWING WATER ON HIGHWAY 362.

0305 PM     TSTM WND DMG     CLOVERPORT              37.83N  86.63W
08/04/2009                   BRECKINRIDGE       KY   COUNTY OFFICIAL

            TREE DOWN ON HIGHWAY 105 NEAR THE CLOVERPORT BOAT RAMP

0307 PM     TSTM WND DMG     ENGLISH                 38.33N  86.46W
08/04/2009                   CRAWFORD           IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TREES SNAPPED

0312 PM     FLASH FLOOD      7 N FRANKFORT           38.29N  84.87W
08/04/2009                   FRANKLIN           KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            NUMEROUS ROADS WERE FLOODED IN THE COUNTY. THEY
            INCLUDED CAMP PLEASANT ROAD AND SEEDER ROAD IN THE PEAKS
            MILL AREA. THERE WAS A HIGH WATER RESCUE ON OAKLAND
            BRANCH ROAD. NUMEROUS SECONDARY ROADS IN NORTHEAST
            FRANKLIN COUNTY WERE COVERED WITH WATER.

0315 PM     TSTM WND DMG     ELIZABETHTOWN           37.70N  85.87W
08/04/2009                   HARDIN             KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

            FULL GROWN TREE DOWN ON WESTPORT RD. AND ST. JOHN

0329 PM     TSTM WND DMG     HARNED                  37.75N  86.42W
08/04/2009                   BRECKINRIDGE       KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN

0333 PM     FLASH FLOOD      LEXINGTON               38.04N  84.46W
08/04/2009                   FAYETTE            KY   NWS EMPLOYEE

            8 TO 9 INCHES OF FLOWING WATER OVER TODDS ROAD FOREST
            HILL AND MCFARLAND LN

0343 PM     TSTM WND DMG     CAMPBELLSVILLE          37.35N  85.35W
08/04/2009                   TAYLOR             KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            SEVERAL TREES DOWN WITHIN CITY LIMITS AND METAL ROOF
            REPORTED BLOWN OFF

0345 PM     TSTM WND DMG     LANCASTER               37.62N  84.58W
08/04/2009                   GARRARD            KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            METAL AND WOODEN BARN DEMOLISHED ALONG WITH SEVERAL
            GREENHOUSES.

0348 PM     TSTM WND DMG     LANCASTER               37.62N  84.58W
08/04/2009                   GARRARD            KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN NEAR 1295 AND GILLESPIE WITH
            DAMAGE TO A HOUSE ON 1295.

0353 PM     TSTM WND DMG     BEREA                   37.58N  84.29W
08/04/2009                   MADISON            KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            TREES FELL AT JOHNSON RD... GABBERTOWN RD... AND AT 21
            EAST

0400 PM     FLASH FLOOD      10 N FRANKFORT          38.34N  84.87W
08/04/2009                   FRANKLIN           KY   COUNTY OFFICIAL

            OAKLAND BRANCH ROAD... SLICKAWAY BRANCH ROAD AND SOUTH
            SCRUGGS ROAD FLOODED.

0415 PM     TSTM WND DMG     ROCHESTER               37.21N  86.89W
08/04/2009                   BUTLER             KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            TREES DOWN NEAR ROCHESTER

0502 PM     FLASH FLOOD      LEXINGTON               38.04N  84.46W
08/04/2009                   FAYETTE            KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

            4 INCHES OF RUNNING WATER ON ROADS IN BRANNON CROSSING
            SHOPPING CENTER. 3 TO 6 INCHES OF WATER ON MAN O WAR
            BLVD AT CLEARWATER DR.

0520 PM     TSTM WND DMG     PLUM SPRINGS            37.02N  86.38W
08/04/2009                   WARREN             KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            STRONG WINDS CAUSED ARCHING TRANSFORMERS NEAR THOMAS
            COURT NEAR PLUM SPRINGS... AND DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN
            NEAR INTERSECTION OF WOODFORD AVE AND CLAY

0520 PM     TSTM WND DMG     BOWLING GREEN           36.97N  86.44W
08/04/2009                   WARREN             KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            POWER POLE DOWN NEAR CREEK WOOD AVE AND RUSSELL RD

0522 PM     HAIL             BOWLING GREEN           36.97N  86.44W
08/04/2009  M0.88 INCH       WARREN             KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

0546 PM     TSTM WND DMG     LEWISBURG               36.99N  86.95W
08/04/2009                   LOGAN              KY   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            SEVERAL TREES DOWN IN THE LEWISBURG AREA

0623 PM     TSTM WND DMG     12 W FRANKLIN           36.73N  86.79W
08/04/2009                   LOGAN              KY   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            SEVERAL TREES DOWN IN MIDDLETON AREA

0634 PM     TSTM WND DMG     VERSAILLES              38.05N  84.73W
08/04/2009                   WOODFORD           KY   COUNTY OFFICIAL

            TWO TREES DOWN ALONG OLD FRANKFORT PIKE BETWEEN MIDWAY
            AND VERSAILLES

0852 PM     TSTM WND DMG     LEWISBURG               36.99N  86.95W
08/04/2009                   LOGAN              KY   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            TREES DOWN ON HWY 96 IN LEWISBURG

0900 PM     FLOOD            5 NE CORYDON            38.26N  86.06W
08/04/2009                   HARRISON           IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            BIG INDIAN CREEK FLOODING WELL OUT OF ITS BANKS.

0903 PM     TSTM WND GST     RUSSELLVILLE            36.84N  86.89W
08/04/2009  E60 MPH          LOGAN              KY   TRAINED SPOTTER

0921 PM     FLASH FLOOD      3 S BEAVER DAM          37.37N  86.88W
08/04/2009                   OHIO               KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            12 TO 13 INCHES OF FLOWING WATER OVER BALD KNOB ROAD.


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