September 12-15, 2008: Heavy Rainfall Event from Remnants of Hurricane Ike

Here are the storm total precipitation amounts from our Cooperative Observers as well as our CoCoRaHs observers across Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana. It covers the period from 7 am Friday, September 12 through 7 am Monday, September 15, 2008.  The table below is listed from highest to lowest amounts.  If you would like to see the list by county, click here.  For a map showing rainfall amounts across the Midwest, scroll to the bottom of this list.

Thank you to all our volunteers who reported during this rain event!

Station ID Name
3 day total
IN-PT-64 VALPARAISO 1.4 ENE
11.02
IN-PT-32 PORTAGE 0.9 ESE
10.74
IN-PT-69 PORTER 0.6 S
10.69
IN-PT-34 CHESTERTON 1.7 WSW
10.59
IL-DP-53 WHEATON 1.7 N
10.53
ELBI2 ELBURN
10.51
IL-KN-30 ELBURN 0.4 NW
10.51
IN-PT-60 LAKES OF THE FOUR SEASONS
10.41
IN-PT-8 VALPARAISO 0.6 SE
10.33
IL-CK-107 EVANSTON 1.4 N
10.20
IN-PT-27 KOUTS 2.8 N
10.16
IN-PT-62 VALPARAISO 7.4 WSW
10.09
IL-CK-69 PARK FOREST 0.8 NNE
10.01
IN-LK-6 CROWN POINT 6.6 ESE
9.94
IN-PT-1 VALPARAISO 3.9 NNW
9.87
IN-LP-14 MICHIGAN CITY 1.3 SSW
9.79
IL-CK-84 BARTLETT 1.2 NE
9.78
IN-PT-13 VALPARAISO 6.2 WSW
9.74
IN-PT-30 VALPARAISO 5.8 WSW
9.67
IN-LK-31 MERRILLVILLE 0.8 NNW
9.37
IL-CK-46 DES PLAINES 0.5 NW
9.36
IN-PT-19 VALPARAISO 5.9 NW
9.22
SCKI2 ST CHARLES 7 NW
9.18
PAWI2 PAW PAW
9.16
IL-KN-8 GENEVA 3.3 WSW
9.15
IL-KN-58 LILY LAKE 2.1 E
9.13
IN-PT-43 CHESTERTON 2.3 ESE
9.13
SCHI2 ST CHARLES
9.10
IL-KN-68 GENEVA 0.9 N
9.09
IN-PT-12 VALPARAISO 4.3 SW
9.09
IL-KN-64 ST CHARLES 0.1 E
9.08
IN-LK-26 CROWN POINT 1.1 N
9.04
IL-KN-66 GENEVA 1.0 E
9.03
IL-DP-34 WEST CHICAGO 2.7 N
9.02
IL-CK-75 ELK GROVE VILLAGE 2.2 WSW
8.95
IN-LK-8 HAMMOND 3.0 SW
8.95
IN-PT-44 CROWN POINT 7.6 ESE
8.90
IL-CK-64 HOMEWOOD 0.1 ESE
8.89
IL-KN-31 ST CHARLES 1.6 SW
8.83
IN-PT-14 CHESTERTON 3.0 ESE
8.77
IL-CK-76 FLOSSMOOR 1.1 ESE
8.76
IN-PT-25 VALPARAISO 5.1 WSW
8.76
IL-CK-63 ELK GROVE VILLAGE 0.6 ESE
8.74
IL-DP-61 ROSELLE 0.5 S
8.61
STAI2 STREATOR
8.55
IL-WL-25 CRETE 2.6 E
8.55
IN-LK-24 CROWN POINT 2.0 WSW
8.55
IL-KN-63 GENEVA 1.7 WSW
8.54
IL-KN-1 GENEVA 1.6 ENE
8.52
IL-DP-42 CAROL STREAM 0.3 SSE
8.51
IL-CK-18 SKOKIE 1.0 NNE
8.47
IL-DP-11 CAROL STREAM 0.7 WNW
8.45
ORD CHICAGO OHARE AIRPORT
8.45
IN-PT-18 HEBRON 3.7 NE
8.31
IL-KN-33 NORTH AURORA 1.5 NE
8.27
IL-KN-10 ELGIN 0.9 WSW
8.26
IL-KN-23 BATAVIA 1.5 WNW
8.23
IL-KN-57 GENEVA 1.9 W
8.21
IN-LP-31 LA CROSSE 0.4 E
8.20
IL-WL-18 CRETE 1.4 SW
8.13
IL-KN-62 BATAVIA 1.3 WNW
8.11
IL-CK-27 STREAMWOOD 1.1 NNE
8.01
IL-CK-94 LINCOLNWOOD 1.8 E
7.85
IL-DP-69 GLEN ELLYN 1.0 NE
7.84
PEOI2 PEOTONE
7.83
IL-DP-60 GLEN ELLYN 0.8 NW
7.72
IL-DP-58 WHEATON 0.5 W
7.72
IL-WL-23 BEECHER 3.4 SSE
7.71
CBGI2 BOTANIC GARDENS
7.62
IL-DP-71 ADDISON 1.6 WNW
7.62
IN-LK-28 WHITING 0.5 W
7.61
BATI2 BATAVIA
7.60
IL-KN-4 SUGAR GROVE 0.7 NE
7.49
CTYI2 COAL CITY 4NNW
7.45
IL-WL-42 MOKENA 1.3 W
7.45
IL-GY-1 CARBON HILL 3.1 N
7.45
IL-KN-9 ELGIN 1.0 S
7.44
IN-JS-36 DE MOTTE 1.3 SW
7.43
PKFI2 PARK FOREST
7.40
IL-CK-51 ORLAND HILLS 0.6 S
7.39
IL-CK-82 BURNHAM-HEGEWISCH 1.6 NNW
7.37
LLLI3 LOWELL
7.35
IL-DP-45 WHEATON 1.8 SSW
7.34
IL-KN-51 SUGAR GROVE 1.4 ENE
7.24
IL-DP-38 ELMHURST 0.4 SW
7.22
IL-KN-12 BATAVIA 0.9 W
7.13
PRUI2 PERU
7.11
ELGI2 ELGIN
7.08
IL-DP-29 GLEN ELLYN 1.6 SSE
7.08
IL-CK-53 GLENCOE 0.1 NW
7.06
IL-DK-5 CORTLAND 0.3 SSW
7.00
LVGI3 LAKE VILLAGE
6.99
IL-KN-39 AURORA 3.4 W
6.94
IL-LS-11 MENDOTA 0.9 N
6.89
IN-LK-25 MUNSTER 0.8 SSE
6.86
IL-KK-7 KANKAKEE 4.5 WNW
6.78
SAAI2 ST ANNE
6.70
HRSI2 HERSCHER
6.69
IL-CK-117 CHICAGO 3.0 NW
6.68
IL-CK-41 HOFFMAN ESTATES 2.1 SE
6.66
IL-WL-27 PLAINFIELD 4.0 NNW
6.62
IL-LV-5 CORNELL 5.4 NNE
6.59
IL-CK-14 CHICAGO 5.5 ESE
6.59
MDWI2 MIDWAY 3SW
6.58
LNNI2 LA GRANGE
6.58
IL-CK-62 STICKNEY 1.2 W
6.56
IL-DP-32 LISLE 1.3 SE
6.50
DWNI2 DOWNERS GROVE
6.49
IL-DP-25 DOWNERS GROVE 0.7 S
6.49
IL-DP-24 LISLE 0.6 W
6.49
IL-KD-24 OSWEGO 5.0 SSE
6.48
IL-CK-50 PALOS PARK 1.3 SW
6.47
IL-CK-98 LA GRANGE PARK 0.7 SSW
6.46
IL-DP-30 LISLE 0.5 WSW
6.45
PMJI2 JOLIET
6.44
IL-DP-20 NAPERVILLE 3.2 ESE
6.44
BARI2 BARRINGTON
6.39
IL-WL-36 HOMER GLEN 3.9 WNW
6.35
IL-DP-14 WESTMONT 1.2 SSE
6.34
MUNI2 MUNDELEIN
6.31
IL-KD-5 MONTGOMERY 0.8 SSE
6.28
IL-DP-16 AURORA 3.6 SE
6.26
IL-KD-25 YORKVILLE 1.8 SSE
6.24
IL-WL-44 NAPERVILLE 3.6 SSW
6.22
IL-LK-19 WAUKEGAN 2.2 N
6.22
IL-LK-15 BANNOCKBURN 0.5 ESE
6.20
IL-DK-6 DE KALB 0.3 ENE
6.19
IL-CK-74 OAK PARK 1.3 NNE
6.19
IN-JS-11 WHEATFIELD 1.8 ENE
6.16
IL-DP-18 DOWNERS GROVE 2.1 SE
6.15
IL-DP-22 LISLE 1.3 NE
6.12
IL-LE-8 ASHTON 0.4 SSW
6.11
IL-KD-23 MONTGOMERY 1.7 SSE
6.07
IN-NW-3 KENTLAND 0.3 ENE
6.06
JKJI2 JOLIET 2N
6.05
SNWI2 STREAMWOOD
6.04
RCHI2 ROCHELLE
6.03
IL-LS-5 SENECA 1.5 SSW
6.00
IN-JS-31 DE MOTTE 5.9 S
6.00
PFDI2 PLAINFIELD
5.99
MHYI2 MCHENRY
5.97
IL-DK-2 DE KALB 0.8 SSW
5.97
IN-NW-1 MOUNT AYER 1.6 NNE
5.96
DEKI2 DE KALB
5.91
IL-KN-42 CARPENTERSVILLE 1.3 ESE
5.88
IL-LS-19 SANDWICH 2.0 SSW
5.88
IL-KD-12 YORKVILLE 1.1 W
5.87
IL-DK-1 DE KALB 1.4 W
5.85
IN-JS-9 RENSSELAER 5.3 WNW
5.85
IN-NW-6 KENTLAND 1.7 SSE
5.85
IL-CK-88 COUNTRYSIDE 0.8 ENE
5.84
MORI3 MOROCCO
5.82
LKZI2 LAKE ZURICH
5.82
IL-CK-61 OAK PARK 1.0 SW
5.81
IL-LK-11 LINCOLNSHIRE 0.9 N
5.80
IL-LV-6 PONTIAC 1.0 SE
5.77
IL-CK-95 COUNTRYSIDE 1.3 NNE
5.76
WODI2 WOODSTOCK 5NW
5.68
IL-LK-16 BUFFALO GROVE 1.5 N
5.68
YOIK2 YORKVILLE 2SE
5.67
IL-LE-7 NELSON 1.6 E
5.67
IL-LS-7 SHERIDAN 3.4 SSE
5.67
IL-KD-26 YORKVILLE 0.7 NE
5.65
IL-LV-4 CHENOA 3.9 NNW
5.64
IN-JS-1 WHEATFIELD 2.8 S
5.58
IL-CK-32 CHICAGO 6.4 NNE
5.57
IL-KD-9 LISBON 4.4 NE
5.55
IL-CK-122 CHICAGO 6.65 NE
5.52
IL-DK-4 GENOA 1.7 N
5.50
OKKI2 OAK BROOK
5.46
IL-MCH-24 HUNTLEY 4.3 W
5.44
IL-DK-9 DE KALB 3.2 WNW
5.43
MDTI2 MENDOTA
5.40
IL-FD-3 PIPER CITY 0.2 ESE
5.32
IL-WL-16 HOMER GLEN 0.8 ENE
5.31
IL-MCH-16 CARY 1.9 NE
5.22
FRBI2 FAIRBURY
5.20
IL-LK-28 ROUND LAKE 2.0 S
5.18
CHTI2 CHATSWORTH
5.17
IL-LV-7 CHATSWORTH 0.4 ESE
5.17
IL-LK-27 LIBERTYVILLE 0.8 SSW
5.17
IL-LS-12 PERU 0.6 SW
5.03
PIPI2 PIPER CITY
5.03
IL-CK-97 CHICAGO 6.8 NNE
4.94
PXNI2 PAXTON
4.94
IL-LK-8 GURNEE 2.5 NE
4.67
IL-MCH-13 BULL VALLEY 2.5 WNW
4.64
IL-LE-5 STERLING 4.3 NE
4.52
IL-LK-3 BEACH PARK 1.4 W
4.49
IL-LE-10 DIXON 3.0 NNW
4.47
IL-LS-1 OTTAWA 1.3 NW
4.37
IL-LS-17 OTTAWA 1.6 N
4.35
OTTI2 OTTAWA
4.27
IL-OG-3 POLO 0.4 WSW
3.93
IL-LK-9 LAKE VILLA 1.1 SSW
3.88
IL-MCH-30 WONDER LAKE 0.8 WNW
3.82
IL-WN-10 NEW MILFORD 3.3 W
3.75
IL-LK-35 WINTHROP HARBOR 0.4 N
3.73
IN-JS-23 REMINGTON 0.3 SSE
3.71
SGVI2 SPRING GROVE 2N
3.60
RMGI3 REMINGTON
3.56
RFD CHICAGO ROCKFORD INTL AIRPORT
3.07
ROFI2 ROCKFORD 4NW
2.85
IL-WN-8 ROCKFORD 0.7 NW
2.69
IL-BN-4 POPLAR GROVE 3.2 SW
2.59
RSCI2 ROSCOE 2 SE
2.55
IL-WN-19 ROCKTON 1.0 ESE
2.55
IL-WN-2 ROSCOE 1.6 ESE
2.55
IL-WN-6 SOUTH BELOIT 1.9 SE
2.54
IL-WN-3 MACHESNEY PARK 3.1 ENE
2.48
HVDI2 HARVARD
2.44
 

A tropical air mass set up across northern Illinois and northwest Indiana which led to a large portion of the region ending up with substantial flooding. The heaviest rain began early on Saturday the 13th and lasted through most of the day, with a brief period in the evening where rain finally ceased. Rainfall amounts were generally in the 4 to 8 inch range across the hardest hit areas, which spans across most of northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. Numerous streets and highways have shut down because of the heavy rain along with basement flooding. The large swath of heavy rain has also caused most rivers in the region to climb into flood stage, with major to record flooding forecast on some rivers. Additionally, the 6.64 inches of rain that fell at O’Hare International Airport on the 13th established a new all time record calendar day rainfall for Chicago at that time, where records date back to 1871. (This record was surpassed in 2011)  The following is a map plotting out all of the Flood or Flash Flood reports received by the National Weather Service in Romeoville from Saturday morning through Saturday evening as well as the radar estimate of the event from Friday evening (when rainfall was light) through Sunday morning.

Flood Reports from September 13th/14th

For flooding photos from this event, see here.


Record River Crests for Select Locations in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana

The following is a list of record crest data for select river locations that were set during this event.  Note these sites may have reached higher stages after this event. To get more information on each data point, go to our Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) webpage.

Location Flood Stage Crest (ft) Remarks
LITTLE CALUMET RIVER  
Munster 12 17.31  9/14/2008  
South Holland 16.5 20.50  11/28/1990  
   
DES PLAINES RIVER  
Des Plaines 5 10.88  10/1/1986  
Riverside 7 9.90    8/15/1987  
   
FOX RIVER  
Dayton 12 36.47  1/25/1960  
   
ILLINOIS RIVER  
Morris 16 24.84  9/16/2008  
LaSalle 20

33.79  9/16/2008

 
   
KANKAKEE RIVER  
Shelby 9 12.98   3/24/1982

 

Momence 5 10.51   3/6/1979  
Wilmington 6.5 13.88   1/30/1968  
   
VERMILION RIVER  
Leonore 16 27.13  12/4/1982  

 

The result of the heavy rain was widespread flooding of roads, creeks, drainage areas, open fields, low lying areas and basements. Small streams such as the North Branch of the Chicago River, Salt Creek, the DuPage River, the Little Calumet River and its tributaries rapidly rose to record or near record levels. These small streams fed larger rivers including the Des Plaines, Fox, Kankakee, and Illinois Rivers. The Des Plaines reached the second highest crest on record at Des Plaines and Riverside, while the Illinois set records at Morris and LaSalle.  

Downtown Des Plaines. Photo courtesy CLTV.

Flooding in downtown Des Plaines. Photo courtesy of CLTV.

Flooding at O'Hare Airport

Flooding at O'Hare International Airport.

 

Despite two significant tornado outbreaks, on January 7 and June 7, and an intense wind and tornado event on August 4, the flooding of mid September was by far the biggest weather event in the Chicago area for 2008. This event impacted more people and resulted in more damage and fatalities than any event in this area in the last several years. Total estimated damages from the flooding are around 100 million dollars. There were four flood related fatalities, making this the most deadly storm-related weather event in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana since eight people were killed by a tornado in Utica in April, 2004.

 

Illinois River flood

Flooding on the Illinois River at Peru.

Historically, about half of all flood fatalities occur in vehicles, when people drive into flooded roads, or get swept off a road by fast moving water. While there were several incidents where people in vehicles were swept away by flood water and had to be rescued, none of the four fatalities in the September flooding occurred in vehicles. Hundreds of cars were also stranded in deep standing water, fortunately with no loss of life. Here is a review of the four fatalities;

 
·         A 28 year old man drowned in a retention pond in Arlington Heights.
·         An 83 year old man drowned in a flooded window well at his home in Oak Lawn.
·         A 48 year old man and 78 year old man drowned trying to save a boy in a flooded culvert in Chesterton, IN. The boy survived.
 
Our sympathies go out to the families.

Lessons learned;

 
·         Everyone should have a hazardous weather plan – at home, at work, and at school. The plan should encompass all hazards, not just tornadoes. Chicago area weather hazards include flooding, lightning, damaging wind and large hail, extremes of heat and cold, and winter storms. Make sure everyone in your care is familiar with the plan. Practice the plan by conducting periodic drills.
 
·         A key part of any hazardous weather plan is to have a reliable method of receiving watches, warnings and other weather information. One of the best methods is to use a NOAA Weather Radio. For more information click here; http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/?n=nwr
 
·         Heed warnings. A flash flood warning means heavy rain will lead to rapid flooding of roads, creeks, small streams, drainage areas, low lying areas, and basements. Stay home. Remove valuables from basements and flood-prone areas before the flood.  
 
·         Do not drive through flooded roads, especially if the water is flowing swiftly. Even heavy pickups and SUVs with four wheel drive can be swept away by fast moving water that is only one to two feet deep. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! For more information, visit http://tadd.weather.gov/
 
·         Do not let children play near flooded creeks, ditches, or drainage retention ponds. Fast moving water that is only ankle deep can sweep a child away. Victims can be pinned against grates or storm drains by powerful currents.
 
·         Do not swim, wade, or boat in flooded areas. In addition to the potential for drowning, flood water may be contaminated by oil from roadways, chemicals from farm fields, and backup from overflowing storm sewers. Sometimes flood swollen streams are tempting to adventurers in canoes and kayaks, but these streams can be extremely dangerous.
 
·         Do not venture into flooded basements unless power to the building is shut off. There may be an electrical hazard.

 

Illinois River flooding 

Record flooding along the Illinois River at Morris.  Photo by Don Lyon.

Finally, the National Weather Service would like to thank everyone involved in the flood event.
 
·         Volunteer weather spotters, amateur radio operators, Cooperative observers, and other volunteers who measure and report rainfall and storm reports.
·         State, county, and local government agencies including emergency management, police, fire, and public works/highway departments.
·         Partners in the broadcast media, who help disseminate the watches and warnings and keep the public informed.
·         Print media, whose news stories provide much of the information that goes into the final StormData publication.
·         School administrators who insist on developing sensible, comprehensive hazardous weather plans and conduct periodic drills.
·         People who head the warnings and encourage family, neighbors, and coworkers to also take precautions
 

 



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