Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Great DeKalb Flood of 2007

At least that is what some people are calling it.

Thursday, August 23rd, DeKalb got socked with a squall line and thunderstorms that dropped 4.85 inches of rain from 7am Thursday to 7am Friday. The Kishwaukee River, normally a glorified stream, was already high and quickly flooded.

From Gilbert, NIU staff meteorologist:
"DeKalb officially has had 4.85" of rain from 7 AM Thursday through 7 AM this Friday morning, including 1.50" last night from 9 PM-1 AM. As a result, the Kishwaukee River is at 15.24', or 5.24' above flood stage. Significant flooding in the city is occurring in the usual suspect areas, including buildings at NIU near the river. Please note, the average monthly rainfall is 4.54" for August. The river is expected now to crest at 15.4 feet this afternoon, taking into account the amount of rain forecast. The all-time record crest is 15.8' back on 7/2/1983."

The Kish eventually crested at 15.27 feet, the second highest crest ever.(Hydrograph courtesy Walker, who had the good sense to take a screen cap of it. Thanks!)

Anyway, the flooding caused all but 2 bridges over the Kish to be closed, but eventually it was down to 1 bridge as the waters crested. In an unprecedented move, NIU shut down at 10 am and sent all non-essential personnel home as flooding was making travel throughout the county difficult to impossible.

Michelle and I arrived on campus at about 10 am Friday, she had class and I was going to work in my office. One of her classmates stopped her and told her classes were cancelled. After confirming this, we walked around campus to take pictures and see the flooding.

So on to the whole point of this post: The pictures!
Castle Drive, covered in water backed up from the lagoon.
This is normally where water exits the lagoon and enters the Kish. There is a trail here that goes around the lagoon, obviously under water.
Here, the Kish attacks the bridge at College Ave. A little water was over topping the bridge but it was still accessible, but the approach on the East was flooded.
Along Gilbert Drive. The Kish crossed the parking lots of the music/art building, flooding the street and also Still Hall/Gym.
Pumping water out of Still Hall/Gym.
A guy wading through the water. It only got thigh high on him.
A tow truck enters the flood water to pull a car out. This is looking East down Lucinda towards the river. Despite the large vehicle, the driver still almost drove off the road and in to a very dangerous situation. Crossing flood waters is dangerous on foot or in a vehicle.
The Kish at the Lucinda bridge. People obviously haven't been following the "Please Don't Litter" judging by the amount of trash collecting here.
Water, debris and unsupervised children on the Lucinda bridge.
Someone didn't get the message to move their vehicle.
Looking N. down Kishwaukee Drive, toward the Engineering Building/Barsema. Kish drive was flooded all the way to the turn-around.
"Yellow Permit Parking"...commuters always get the worst spaces.
Actually, these reserved spots aren't much better. Notice the wide expanse of river and flooding in the background.
Looking East across Lots A and V, which are boat parking only at this point. The 1st Street bridge is off in the distance but probably impossible to was closed due to water on the approaches as well.
An NIU vehicle submerged to the windows...just to give you an idea of water depth.

The pictures don't really do it really was an epic flood for a river like the Kish. We dodged a serious bullet in the fact that we didn't get any significant rain on Friday or Saturday, and that flooding occurred right at move in....this could have been a major nightmare if classes were already in session (Only the law school was in session as far as I know).

All pictures courtesy of Michelle who had her camera.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tornado Cat

I saw this photo from Greensburg, KS...the kid picked the cat out of the rubble or from somewhere in the debris. The AP caption said that the kid has found a friend, but I think the cat looks pretty pissed. Anyway, this cat is now known to me as tornado cat.