Widespread heavy rains repeatedly pounded the entire Lower Ohio Valley and Southeast Missouri from late November through mid December. The following are some rainfall totals for the 30-day period ending on Dec. 24:

 November 26 to December 24, 2001


Rainfall amount (inches):

Poplar Bluff, MO


Cape Girardeau, MO


Carbondale, IL


Paducah, KY


Evansville, IN


Road closed by flooding near Paducah, KYRoad closed by flooding near Paducah, KY (photo by Shane Luecke)

Paducah riverfrontThe Ohio River at the Paducah riverfront on December 19.
Ohio River bottomland at Brookport, ILFlooding of Ohio River bottomland at Brookport, IL Fort Massac State Park flooding at the Ohio RiverFlooding of Fort Massac State Park near Metropolis, IL, along the Ohio.

Click on above photos for full size.

 Storm Overview:

Flooding of the major rivers was minor. The smaller rivers and creeks caused most of the problems. The following is an account of the late November flooding in western Kentucky:

Widespread flooding resulted from excessive rainfall. From November 26 to 30, 11.3 inches of rain fell at Murray, 7.5 inches fell at Hopkinsville, and 9 to 10 inches fell at Canton and Cadiz. Flooding of rivers and creeks prompted numerous road closings. In Calloway County, at least 35 roads were flooded and impassable, especially near the Clarks River. Bridges were washed out on a couple of local access roads. Calloway County reported two incidents of persons being trapped inside submerged vehicles, and there were scattered incidents of vehicles being washed off the road. No serious injuries had been reported. A few homes in Calloway County were flooded. Trigg County reported 25 road closures, including the Ben Adams Bridge over the Muddy Fork. Christian County reported a dozen roads closed in Hopkinsville, and 15 to 20 more roads closed in the county. Several residences in flood-prone areas of Christian County were evacuated, and two homes were flooded. Flooding occurred on the Little River, which inundated Cherokee Park in Christian County and many roads and bridges in Trigg County. The Little River came within a couple of feet of overflowing the bridge on U.S. Highway 68 west of Cadiz. Two roads in Trigg County were washed away at bridges. In Trigg County, flooding of basements occurred, and water entered the Trigg County courthouse. Schools were closed or opened late across the area. This heavy rain event was the wettest three-day period for Trigg County since March 1-3, 1997, when 10.85 inches fell. 

The December flooding was more widespread, with southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, and southwest Indiana reporting considerable flooding as well. In Johnson County, Illinois, 20 roads were closed, and the community of Flatwoods was briefly isolated by high water. Southeast Missouri reported numerous roads closed and a few road washouts. A vehicle was swept away at a low water crossing in Butler County, Missouri. None of its occupants were hurt. Flooding in western Kentucky was comparable to the late November flooding, with extensive flooding of the Clarks River in Calloway County. A bridge was washed out near Mayfield.



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