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Northwest Indiana Flooding

May 17th, 2018

February 20, 2018

Northwest Indiana__Combined

Rain began falling on Monday, February 19, 2018 and intensified during the overnight hours dropping four to five inches on Northwest Indiana. The rain fell on frozen ground that caused nearly all the rainfall to become runoff. Worse still, temperatures had warmed to the 60’s, adding nine days of melting snow to the runoff. As a result, rivers and ditches crested to flood levels surpassing the April 2013 elevations and, in some locations, even surpassing record flood elevations set in August 2007 and September 2008. The resultant flooding was widespread throughout the region and on Feb. 24, Gov. Eric Holcomb declared a state of emergency in Lake County.

CBBEL staff was on the ground in Lake County working with the Surveyor’s Office and the Towns of Dyer and Merrillville, advising on sand bagging recommendations, observing flooding locations, watching river levels and making forecasts.

The CBBEL team had the opportunity to observe some newly-constructed stormwater projects in action as they were tested by the floodwaters and tremendous runoff, including the flood berms constructed in the Berens Monaldi Subdivision and within the Franciscan Health Dyer Campus. These berms protected many homes and the hospital from flooding, preventing a difficult situation from getting worse. The projects that were designed by CBBEL all performed as expected for the flooding conditions.

Northwest Indiana_Taft St Culvert

In Merrillville, the recently completed culvert and floodwater storage projects along Taft Street protected the
adjacent residents and roadways from the flooding and closures that were experienced in 2008. 

Northwest Indiana_Drone Footage

Aerial drone footage taken by CBBEL staff during the flood event also allowed for viewing of flooded locations
that were not accessible. Many of these flooded areas were included in the Town’s Stormwater Master Plan
and are the subject of current studies and future flood reduction projects.

Thomas Burke, PhD, PE
Vice President, Head
Water Resources Department

Darren Olson, PE
Senior Project Manager
Water Resources Department

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