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Open-File Report 2010–1098

In Cooperation With the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water

Flood of September 2008 in Northwestern Indiana

By Kathleen K. Fowler, Moon H. Kim, Chad D. Menke, and Donald V. Arvin



Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (5.1 MB)

During September 12–15, 2008, rainfall ranging from 2 to more than 11 inches fell on northwestern Indiana. The rainfall resulted in extensive flooding on many streams within the Lake Michigan and Kankakee River Basins during September 12–18, causing two deaths, evacuation of hundreds of residents, and millions of dollars of damage to residences, businesses, and infrastructure. In all, six counties in northwestern Indiana were declared Federal disaster areas.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgages at four locations recorded new record peak streamflows as a result of the heavy rainfall. Peak-gage-height data, peak-streamflow data, annual exceedance probabilities, and recurrence intervals are tabulated in this report for 10 USGS streamgages in northwestern Indiana. Recurrence intervals of flood-peak streamflows were estimated to be greater than 100 years at six streamgages. Because flooding was particularly severe in the communities of Munster, Dyer, Hammond, Highland, Gary, Lake Station, Hobart, Schererville, Merrillville, Michiana Shores, and Portage, high-water-mark data collected after the flood were tabulated for those communities. Flood peak inundation maps and water-surface profiles for selected streams were made in a geographic information system by combining high-water-mark data with the highest resolution digital elevation model data available.

First posted May 2010

For additional information contact:
Director, Indiana Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
5957 Lakeside Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46278-1996

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Fowler, K.K., Kim, M.H., Menke, C.D., and Arvin, D.V., 2010, Flood of September 2008 in Northwestern Indiana: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2010–1098, 20 p.





Conditions Leading to the Flood

Collection of High-Water-Mark Data

Methods of Estimating the Magnitudes and Annual Exceedance Probabilities of Peak Streamflows

Estimated Magnitudes and Annual Exceedance Probabilities of Peak Streamflows for the Flood of September 2008

Description of Flood Damages and Impacts


References Cited



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