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April 17-18 Storm Summary

April 23, 2013

Storm Total: 5.86″


  • Complete flooding of Armstrong, Veterans and Mitchell Lakes Parks
  • Kuhn Road closed
  • Thunderbird Trail remained open
  • Crest approximately 8-10 hours after the heaviest rain ended

On April 17-18, a storm system brought 5.86″ of rain to the area, taking the better part of 3 days to do so. It is difficult to easily establish the clear effects of the storm, as the ground was saturated by 2.60″ of rain in the two weeks prior to the event, reducing amount of stormwater capacity available for flood control for the main event. Still, it can be said that the effects of the storm were less than the July 2010 and September 2008 storms, because of:

  1. The excessively long duration of the rain
  2. The lesser amount of rain that fell in the event.

This was a widespread heavy rain event. This can be seen in the pair of images below, showing heavy rain (in excess of 3.00″, and at least more) extending all the way back to Missouri. By comparison the July 2010 event, while more intense locally, largely did not affect areas south of Interstate 80 and north of Interstate 90.

It is for this reason that area rivers hit numerous record crests, sometimes far exceeding (by feet!) the records set in September 2008. See the links section below.

Somewhat worryingly, this event took place outside of the usual heavy rain “season” (typically between June and September). Heavy rain events are associated with warm temperatures and tropical air masses, and April has not been warm this year. It is for this reason that we should again adjust our expectations regarding the frequency and intensity of heavy rain, and prepare for the next event.

13Apr17_rf mw_precip


4 Comments leave one →
  1. singleveggy permalink
    April 30, 2013 7:41 pm

    Do you know what they are doing at armstrong park? There is a big pile of dirt ,but what are they doing with it? How is this fixing the flooding problem?

  2. singleveggy permalink
    May 6, 2013 5:30 pm

    So are you saying dupage county decides when work on the reservoirs will be finished?
    Not Carol Stream ?

    • Rob permalink*
      May 7, 2013 5:20 pm

      Yes, DuPage County is the lead agency on the project. They had to negotiate for land from the Carol Stream Park District, and I would bet that they are using some resources from the village.

      In addition, complex stormwater projects like this require many, many permits from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers, for starters. This is to ensure that when all is finished and working properly, someone downstream isn’t being flooded. These permits took about 1-2 years.

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