LOCAL News :: Media
When the public has been over-warned
La Salle, IL - The National Weather Service projected on Friday that the Illinois River would rise to 32.1 feet and tie a record set in 1982. The projection was too high. When the public is over-warned a loss of confidence takes place. Then people may not take flood warnings issued again seriously. On Aug. 18-19 seven people in SE Minnesota did not hear or have confidence in NWS flood warnings and lost their lives!
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The projection was too high. When the public is over-warned a loss of confidence takes place. Thus, in future flood events people may not take flood warnings issued seriously. On Aug. 18-19 seven people in SE Minnesota did not hear or did not have confidence in NWS flood warnings - and lost their lives!
Latest river data shows that the Illinois River at La Salle crested this morning around 30.3 feet above gage datum - which was 1.8 feet BELOW the record flood in 1982 - and did not even make the top five list for highest crests of the historical record at La Salle!
Why have NWS river forecasts been so far off the mark?
A northern IL area map and plot of latest reported river conditions an forecast can be found at:
The original Aug 24th botched NWS forecast calling for a record crest level is no longer available on the NWS website.
Caption for plot:
River stage hydrograph for the Ilinois River, La Salle, IL (August, 2007, NOAA NWS). Automated observed river stage reports are shown in dark blue. Forecasted values issued last evening are shown in red.