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Effects observed on the morning of July 24

July 28, 2010

There will be multiple posts attempting to detail the effects of the rainfall in the next couple of days. I (Robert Guico) did not get a chance to observe all areas of flooding throughout the weekend; what I did observe, I will post. Thanks!

T represents the approximate time heavy, accumulating rain stopped in the watershed area (about 6:30 AM).

Outside the Flood Plain: 7:30 AM (T+1)

Significant flooding was observed outside of the flood plain (while I was on my way to find something to hold back the water, in fact!). Near the Gary-Kehoe Reservoir, overflowing water spilled across Kehoe and Gary Avenues, flowed over the road and into a backyard. Helped by a 3 foot vertical drop, the force and volume of water knocked over a homeowner’s fence as it spilled into a tributary of Klein Creek. In addition, at least two cars stalled out trying to cross at this location.

No flooding was observed on Fullerton Avenue.

Flooding shut down 4 of 5 lanes on Schmale Road, where another car badly misjudged the depth of the water (turn around, don’t drown!) and ended up off the road near Randy Road. However, the road was still passable.

A large amount of water (1″ in depth but rushing) cascaded through the intersection of Thornhill and Schmale Roads. This volume of water rushing into the Home Depot parking lot is what caused the flooding depicted in the video above.

It is important to note that most of these areas were clear of flooding by the next day.

Library and Illini Drive Floodplains: 9:30-10:30 AM (T+3-4)

One of the most significant differences between the September 2008 event and this event is the widespread observed flooding in the library floodplain. Multiple residents relayed that the flooding in this area was, in fact, worse than in 9/08.

Image 1. Looking down Illini Drive, 3 hours after the end of heavy rain

Image 2. Looking west towards the Library from Hiawatha. Widespread lowland flooding in front of the library

Image 3. The rushing water was temporary; an hour later the area was underwater.

Image 4. Possibly Hiawatha Drive near Glen Flora.

Image 5. Looking into Woodcrest Court from Hiawatha Drive. Note the very high level of the retention pond behind Jay Stream School in the back.

Image 6. Looking towards the Library from Hiawatha @ Pebble Creek Trail. There has been a notable increase in the depth of water (to above my knees, or about 2-2.5 feet) in the one hour I was in the area.

Of particular note is that the flood map for the area did not predict that some of these areas would be underwater:

7-24 Morning Survey Results

Why this is remains somewhat of a mystery. The combined effects of both drier weather before the heavy rain effect, as well as the fact that less rain was observed during the event, meant that this area should have seen less flooding than in September 2008, not more. This issue remains open at this time.

The next post will cover effects observed during the evening of July 24.

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