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)


Ad Blocker Enabled

Featured Blogs

The Big Thompson Disaster: Reverberations of a Flash Flood, 40 Years Later

By Dr. Jeff Masters
July 29, 2016

What began as a celebratory Saturday in the mountains ended in tragedy 40 years ago this weekend, when a catastrophic flash flood ripped through the narrow Big Thompson Canyon of Colorado’s Front Range. A total of 144 people were killed on that Saturday evening, July 31, 1976--the eve of the 100th anniversary of Colorado’s statehood. critical gaps in weather data, communication, and public awareness had teamed up with a slow-moving deluge to create a true disaster, one that’s had a noteworthy influence on how we deal with flash floods today.

Hottest Reliably Measured Air Temperatures on Earth

By Christopher C. Burt
July 22, 2016

As Jeff Masters mentioned in his recent blog, a temperature of 54.0°C (129.2°F) was observed at Mitribah, Kuwait on July 21st. According to the Kuwait Meteorological Department this was the hottest temperature ever measured in the country (a reading of 54.4°C/129.9°F observed at the same site on July 16, 2010 has been disallowed as a result of a faulty sensor). The 54.0°C reading also is a new record for Asia and ties a similar reading at Death Valley (on June 30, 2013) as the hottest reliably measured temperature on Earth. The key word here is ‘reliably’. Many hotter temperatures have been reported from around the world in years past. However, all of these have credibility issues. In that vein I am going to revisit a blog I first posted on WU in October 2010 listing all the various claims to temperature readings at or above 54°C (129.2°F). In the years since I made that post I’ve learned more about some of these claims and have thus updated my entries and ‘validity’ scores as a result.

An extraordinary meteorological event; was one of its results a 1000-year flood?

By Stu Ostro
October 5, 2015

The confluence of meteorological ingredients the first weekend in October 2015 resulted in an extraordinary weather event with severe impacts. Was one of them a 1000-year flood?

Why the Arrest of a Science-Loving 14-year-old Matters

By Shaun Tanner
September 16, 2015

By now, many of you have heard or read about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested because school officials called the police after he showed one of his teachers his homemade clock. Mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed was taken into custody, interrogated, shamed, suspended (still on suspension today, Wednesday), and reprimanded. All of this after it has been found that the "device" he brought to school was indeed, a homemade clock.