Shot Date: August 13, 2016
Video taken from the August 13, 2016 flash flood event in Perry County documenting the incredible flooding of US-51 just north of the town of Tamaroa, Illinois. Residents and emergency officials I spoke with said this was the worst they had ever seen, many stating that this area does not flood. Waters continued to rise even after the rains subsided, leaving my stranded on an island of a yard for over two hours. Several vehicles were stalled out in the water, and I assisted area residents in pushing one from the flood waters.
I waded through water knee-deep on the road, but other areas had several feet of water, eventually preventing any cars from getting through. Perry County Sheriffs had the highway blocked, but eventually allowed semi trucks to go through, some of them barely making it.
The highway was shut down for several hours, eventually opening up later on Saturday evening. I was finally able to get out when waters receded enough to allow my vehicle to pass.
Big props to everyone I met, including the older gentleman and his wife whom I was stranded in the yard with. Also to the residents across the way who held down the scene, helped push cars out, and gave me snacks and a coke. The Sheriff’s department also gets mad props for handling the scene well and for being super cool.
All-in-all, everyone made the most of the situation, many in awe over the sight. It was a unique experience for me, and one that certainly was memorable. I was even applauded by those at the barricade when I finally was able to escape the waters 🙂
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METEOROLOGIST TONY LAUBACH