August 2016 Flash Flooding

After the morning line hammered Caterville and surrounding areas, another line of storms formed to the north, leaving a very narrow, but powerful aftermath in the wake of almost 5-inches of rain in less than two hours.  The town of Tamaroa, north of Du Quoin in Perry County, took the brunt of this storm.  Residents and emergency officials said this is the worst they had ever seen, dating as far back as 30 years.  The water covered US-51 in several areas between Du Bois and Du Quoin, but just south of Tamaroa was where the worst came.

After the rains lightened up, water continued to rise, leading several cars to get stalled as they drove through water that earlier cars were able to make it through.  Nearby residents came to their aid, helping to push cars from the rising water.

Perry County Sheriffs arrived on-scene and closed down US-51 to all traffic, diverting them around on not as badly flooded back roads.  The road was closed til at least 6pm, but the water was receding.

In total, two cars were stalled and had to be towed away from the area.  No injuries were reported.

I was left stranded in a nearby front yard when the rising water surrounded me on the road.  An older couple was stuck there with me as well, and we sat there for nearly two hours waiting for the water to recede enough to allow us to escape.

In town, the Caseys took on significant flooding, which also spilled out onto US-51 causing traffic delays less than a mile north of the closure.  Water as high as a foot inundated the parking lot, and had people wading through ankle-to-knee deep water to get to the pumps and store entrance.  Other than a little inconvenience, most customers navigated the waters fine, at least until they tried to go south to Du Quoin.

After Saturday’s event in Tamaroa, the system as a whole calmed down, and while many areas did received additional rains, the overall system did not unleash flash flooding worse than what occurred on Saturday.

I documented a night round of storms on Sunday that lead to more flooding in Perry County, but I directed myself into the town of West Frankfort where waters had risen within the city limits due to excessive amounts of rain that fell.  Flash flooding resulted and I witnessed one vehicle needing to be pushed out of high waters.

More rains came on Monday, but were more widespread and not as heavy.  Remnant flooding was observed in area creeks as well as in farm fields, some of that water spilling over into nearby roads.  But for the most part, this event came to a unceremonious close compared to it’s Saturday opening.

In total, many areas received between 7-14 inches of rain in that few days, many of the higher totals resulting from repeated rounds of storms over the same area, including Perry County.