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Rockford flood explainer

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019

* Gov. Pritzker is in the Rockford area today surveying flood damage. The Register-Star explains how the flood happened

The [Rock River] remained at elevated levels because of flooding late last year and the water wasn’t able to fall fast enough before the Rock River basin in Wisconsin and Illinois were socked with snowfall and rain, [W. Scott Lincoln, senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville] said. Then the polar vortices hit, and that moisture froze in place in the soil.

The soil was wetter than 99 percent of previous months of March, Lincoln said.

The major factor in this flooding was the equivalent of 2 to 4 inches of water from snowmelt between March 12 and March 14 from Wisconsin, Lincoln said. In addition, half an inch to 1 inch of rainwater came down from Wisconsin.

During that same time period, “1 to 2 inches of snow water equivalent” entered [the river] from the Rockford area, he said.

* Yikes…


* Related…

* Rivers crest, but it will take days for floods to subside

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    Snow always melts.


  2. - Dan Johnson - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    That’s a good explainer. Remember the polar vortex was exacerbated by climate change that messes up the arctic jet stream.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2019/01/29/polar-vortex-record-cold-temperatures-climate-change/#.XJJ5GxNKgWo

    Climate change is expensive.


  3. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    Hoping the water recedes quickly and disaster relief comes quickly.


  4. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 12:43 pm:

    While driving around the area I was really shocked at the amount of flooded fields around the Springfield area. Many fields on the west side looked like lakes in areas. Did not realize it was already like that. Can’t imagine what the Mississippi will be like as the snow pack starts melting in that watershed area.


  5. - A Jack - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    It seems like 100 year floods are becoming 30 years or less floods.


  6. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    I feel for those families and small businesses. It’s devastating and our private social safety net was destroyed by Rauner. The mom and pop social service agencies that could have helped are gone.


  7. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 1:02 pm:

    I just went through that area on Rt. 20 this weekend. It’s not just the Rock, the Pecatonica is overflowing its banks near Freeport, I’ve never seen water anywhere near 20 as high as it is now. Scary stuff, and the problem will likely worsen as the water works its way downstream.


  8. - Cornerfield - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    Flooding can be devastating. It does look like the river has crested and is going down. For now anyway.

    Below is a great link to see river gage data and forecasts. It is not phone friendly. You realy need a computer and a mouse to successfully click on the individual gage points:

    https://water.weather.gov


  9. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    have friends who are originally from Freeport and they are worried about family and friends. agricultural ramifications a big issue.


  10. - The Dude - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 5:28 pm:

    I own a house in the area…so far so good


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