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Publication Abstract

Floods of Winter-spring 1982 in Illinois Changnon, Stanley A., Jr., John P. Lardner, John L. Vogel, and Peter G. Vinzani, 1983  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS RI-105    Full Text Available

A series of moderate floods, some locally severe, occurred in Illinois in 1982. Flooding existed from late January to mid April and included three major events a late January flood in southern Illinois caused by a record winter rainstorm, late February floods in central and southern Illinois caused by melting of excessive snow cover, moderate rains, and ice jams; and mid March floods in central and northern Illinois caused by melting snow and heavy rains. The report describes climatological, meteorological, and hydrologic aspects of the flood-producing conditions: the impacts of the floods on society, and implications for planning for future responses to floods. The four factors that produced the winter-spring 1982 flooding were 1) above normal precipitation and heavy snowfall in January, 2) record-breaking snow cover caused by heavy snows and below normal temperatures, 3) soil moisture at or in excess of saturation, and 4) ice jams on larger rivers. Though no lives were lost, total losses were estimated at $20 to $25 million. The greatest impacts were to government entities and ranged from damage to local sewage and water treatment plants to damages to public bridges, buildings, and roads. Transportation was affected, and nearly 400 families had to be evacuated. Conditions showed the need for a state flood contingency plan.

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