Major River Flooding in SE Illinois and SW Indiana - January, 2005

Widespread heavy rain, combined with snowmelt from December, produced major flooding on the White, Wabash, Little Wabash, and Patoka Rivers in early to mid January.

An old railroad bridge over the Wabash River just north of Interstate 64 partially collapsed due to the flooding.An old railroad bridge over the Wabash River just north of Interstate 64 partially collapsed due to the flooding. Click on photo for full size. Photo taken on Jan. 12 courtesy of Norm Bredenkamp.
 

Photo of Route 64 bridge taken from the Indiana side of the Wabash River at Mount Carmel, IL on Jan. 11. Photo from Ron Fields.Photo of Route 64 bridge taken from the Indiana side of the Wabash River at Mount Carmel, IL on Jan. 11. Click on photo for full size. Photo from Ron Fields. The river reached an all-time record high level at Mount Carmel, surpassing the flood of March, 1913.
 

Photo of the State Route 64 bridge over the Wabash River at East Mount Carmel, IN on Tuesday. The river reached near record levels at this location.Photo of the State Route 64 bridge over the Wabash River at East Mount Carmel, IN on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Photo sent by Amy Lindsey of the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency.
 

Photo taken from the State Route 64 bridge at Mt. Carmel, IL on January 12, looking upriver along the Mt. Carmel levee.Photo taken from the State Route 64 bridge at Mt. Carmel, IL on January 12, looking upriver along the Mt. Carmel levee. Photo courtesy of Charlie Kiesel. Click on photo for full size.
 

  • Impacts at the height of the flood event: Gibson County, Indiana is bordered by the White and Wabash Rivers, and the Patoka River passes through the Gibson County seat of Princeton. The combined effect of major flooding on all three rivers inundated thousands of acres across the county. The emergency management director reported numerous roads closed across the county. Floodfighting efforts in Gibson County included the National Guard, which helped to pump water from behind levees and to shore up weak points in levees. The levee protecting the community of Hazelton was on the verge of failure January 13 and 14.

Wabash River floodwaters cover a road in Grayville, Illinois on Jan. 12Wabash River floodwaters cover a road in Grayville, Illinois on Jan. 12. Click on photo for full size. Photo courtesy of Norm Bredenkamp.

Photo of Patoka River flooding taken northeast of Princeton, Indiana Jan.12th along CR 400N. The bridge crosses the Patoka River here.Photo of Patoka River flooding taken northeast of Princeton, Indiana Jan.12th along CR 400N. The bridge crosses the Patoka River here. Photo courtesy of Charlie Kiesel. Click on photo for full size version.
 

Photo taken Sat. Jan. 8, at Patoka, IN along the Patoka River. Photo courtesy of Charlie Kiesel. Photo taken Sat., Jan. 8, at Patoka, IN along the Patoka River. Photo courtesy of Charlie Kiesel.
 

Photo of sandbagging activity in New Harmony, IN on January 11. Photo of sandbagging activity in New Harmony, IN on January 11. Click on photo for full size. Photo from Ron Fields.
 

Photo of the Wabash River from the Indiana side. The bridge in the background is the New Harmony bridge. Photo taken Jan. 11.Photo of the Wabash River from the Indiana side. The bridge in the background is the New Harmony bridge. Photo taken Jan. 11 courtesy of Ron Fields, NWS Special Liaison Officer.
 

 

Photo taken January 8, showing the Wabash River floodwall holding back the river at Mount Carmel, IL. Photo courtesy of Charlie Kiesel.
 


Additional links of interest

North Central River Forecast Center

Radar-Derived Mean Areal Precipitation Areal-averaged QPF
Mean Areal Precipitation Gridded QPF

Ohio River Forecast Center

Observed Data Forecast Data

Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center

Precipitation Data QPF Data
 
  • The river flooding was the result of a prolonged period of above normal precipitation. The graphic below, from the Ohio River Forecast Center, shows the percentage departure from normal of rainfall during the 30-day period prior to the flood.

 


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