Rain, heat, flooding, mass hysteria

2010 is going down in the record books as one of the wettest years on record. NWS DMX today issued a record statement, stating that 2010 in Des Moines is the wettest year on record, with records going back to 1878. As of this morning, Des Moines has received a whopping 40.64″ of liquid precip this year.

Like many of the previous months, August is continuing with the very wet tradition.  Below is a map showing rainfall thru 8 August.  Of course, several places received another 3-6″ of rain last night, since this map was generated. Map is courtesy the Iowa Environmental Mesonet.

After almost 12″ of rain in many places this week, the Skunk River and 4 Mile Creek have gone over their respective banks in a big way.  This morning, both rivers caused massive flooding around the Central Iowa area.  Ames, Iowa is currently a complete mess, as flood waters have over taken the city by storm (no pun intended).  Hilton Coliseum in Ames (home of Iowa State) is currently experiencing massive flooding, with approx 5′ of water inside the building.  I-35 is closed just south of Ames due to flooding, along with numerous other roads in Central Iowa.  As many remember, 1993 was another impressive year for flooding.  Believe it or not, the floods of August 2010 have surpassed the record crests of several rivers.  Below is the latest (as of this entry) hydro information and outlook for the Skunk River at Ames. As you can see, the old record has been surpassed.   Adding insult to injury, this afternoon, Ames lost it’s water supply.  A major water main break under Squaw Creek forced the city to shut down it’s water plant.

Further down stream of Ames, Colfax is also facing it’s worst flood ever.  Colfax was one of many communities that faced flooding in 1993.  This year, like Ames, new records are being set.  The Skunk River has risen so high, it has topped the levees protecting the town.  I-80 is threatened also near Colfax.  Below is the latest info and prediction for the Skunk River at Colfax. (As of this writing).

Several other streams, rivers, tributaries are under Flood Warnings around the area.  On a sad note, 1 life was lost this morning near Altoona, Iowa, as 3 cars full of teenagers were swept off a country road by rushing flood waters.

On top of all the water, the airmass over the Central US has been, well tropical.  High’s ranging in the 90’s with dews in the upper 70’s to near 80 at times.  If I wanted to live in a rainforest/tropical climate, I’d move there. 😉 We can only hope we dry out soon!

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