Share

Fort Wayne Could See Spring Flooding After Record Snows

February 8, 2014

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project on the St. Joseph River in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — After rough winter, Fort Wayne may need to brace itself for more trouble this spring. This winter's record snowfall is fueling concerns that Indiana's second-largest city could see destructive spring flooding if heavy rains quickly melt away the region's snow cover.

During a similar scenario in March 1982, severe flooding brought the city national attention and President Ronald Reagan helped in sandbagging efforts during a visit to the city.

But city officials said Fort Wayne is now better equipped to weather the results of spring snow runoff thanks to several flood-control projects installed since 1982. Those include the completion of more than 10 miles of dikes along the city's three rivers and construction of a new channel along several miles of the Maumee River that has increased the river's capacity.

(MORE: How Much Has it Warmed Where You Live?)

"We're in a totally different state now in Fort Wayne," Bob Kennedy, Fort Wayne's director of public works, told The News-Sentinel

The National Weather Service says more than 2 1/2 feet of snow fell last month on Fort Wayne, making it the city's snowiest month on record.

Much of January's record 30.3 inches of snow has melted away, but many locations in northeast Indiana now have a foot or more of snow and lingering frigid readings has kept it from melting. That snowpack includes a record 6.2-inch snowfall for the date that Fort Wayne saw Wednesday.

Officials said the region's snowpack holds the frozen equivalent of 2-4 inches of rain.

Kennedy said the best scenario for the melting of the region's snowpack would be a series of sunny days in the 30s and 40s and no heavy rains.

The worst circumstance would be for much warmer air to arrive with heavy rains, perhaps a series of thunderstorms that would combine to inundate local rivers and streams with runoff.

MORE: Winter Storm Orion's Wrath

A police official looks around during a snowy day in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


Featured Blogs

U.S. Wildfires 2015: Are The Worst Yet To Come?

By Dr. Jeff Masters
September 2, 2015

Thus far, 2015 has been one of the worst U.S. wildland fire seasons since modern records began, largely due to massive fires in Alaska. As fall approaches, the risk of major fire continues across the western states, with the role of climate change under increased scrutiny. Meanwhile, the Northern Hemisphere tropics are beginning to settle down for a spell after a hyperactive August.

UPDATE: Crazy Summer in Hawaii: Record Rainfall, Record Heat, and Snow!

By Christopher C. Burt
August 26, 2015

Although much media attention weather-wise (at least recently) for Hawaii has been about tropical storms an even more interesting story has been the record wet August in Honolulu and Lihue and the hottest summer and hottest single month (August) on record for many Hawaiian cities. Despite a record warm July, accumulating snow managed to dust the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island. Here are some details about the above events.

Not a tropical cyclone?

By Stu Ostro
August 15, 2015

PWS Service Interruption Update

By Shaun Tanner
June 16, 2015

The development team here at Weather Underground has been hard at work producing a new homepage! Please take a look at the sneak peek and tell us what you think!

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.