NW Indiana Flood Survey
Strong thunderstorms on the back side of a slow moving low pressure system produced torrential rainfall on Wednesday, September 13th across the northern portions of Lake County, Indiana. Rain over the previous 4 days had preconditioned the soil for a possible flooding event. A few showers and thunderstorms began across the hardest hit area of Highland and Griffith at about 2:15 am CDT on early Wednesday morning. The main band of rain started at about 6:37 am CDT in this area as a light to moderate rain. The training of heavy rain and thunderstorms began at about 8:30am CDT and lasted until about noon CDT. This is when the bulk of the rain fell across the Little Calumet River basin and caused the flooding. At 9:01 am CDT, the National Weather Service issued an Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory for Lake County. At 10:42 am CDT, on Wednesday, the National Weather Service upgraded the advisory to a Flash Flood Warning for Northern Lake County, specifically mentioning Schererville, Munster, Merrillville, Highland, Hammond, Griffith and Gary. Rainfall estimates according to Doppler radar indicated a widespread area of about 3 to 4 inches across Lake County. Ground truth reports from Highland showed amounts ranging from 3.79” to 7.94”. Most of Highland was under water at some point on Wednesday. The Highland Fire Department reported 11 homes with collapsed basements (see picture below) and about 300 calls about flooded basements. Parts of Griffith along the Cady Marsh Ditch were still under water on Thursday when representatives from the National Weather Service office surveyed the area and documented the impacts.
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Looking east down Minter Dr in Griffith near the Cady Marsh Ditch with about 6-8” of standing water. Picture taken on Thursday, September 14th by NWS
Pumps had to be borrowed from a neighboring township to help pump the standing water back into the Cady Marsh Ditch. Picture taken from the bridge over the Cady Marsh Ditch near Brinwood Dr.
This picture was taken at the intersection of Jay Circle and 40th Place.
Standing water at Sheppard Park in Highland, IN along the Cady Marsh Ditch.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 11 reported basement collapses in Highland due to the heavy amounts of rain and standing water.
This temporary dike was built Wednesday along Indianapolis Blvd/US 41 to prevent flooding to lower parts of Highland.
Map of the rainfall totals from Highland as well as locations of known basement collapses from the flood. Click on the map to view a larger version.