The New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12

Strange Happenings

 

By: City of New Madrid Missouri

The New Madrid earthquakes were the biggest earthquakes in American history. They occurred in the central Mississippi Valley, but were felt as far away as New York City, Boston, Montreal, and Washington D. C. President James Madison and his wife Dolly felt them in the White House. Church bells rang in Boston. From December 16, 1811 through March of 1812 there were over 2,000 earthquakes in the central Midwest, and between 6,000-10,000 earthquakes in the Bootheel of Missouri where New Madrid is located near the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

In the known history of the world, no other earthquakes have lasted so long or produced so much evidence of damage as the New Madrid earthquakes. Three of the earthquakes are on the list of America’s top earthquakes: the first one on December 16, 1811, a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale; the second on January 23, 1812, at 7.8; and the third on February 7, 1812, at as much as 8.8 magnitude.

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Massive Flooding Ongoing in the Midwest

Published: Apr 20, 2013, 9:41 AM EDT weather.com

Heavy rain in the Midwest Wednesday into Thursday has created critical flooding problems in at least a half-dozen states. States of emergency were declared, residents were evacuated and roads were closed in the affected areas.

Utica, Ill.Associated PressPolice officer Shannon Vandenheuvel, left, and Melissa Kolenda, right, help Barbara Jones from her partially submerged car in Grand Rapids, Mich. Thursday, April 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Grand Rapids Press, Chris Clark)

Vermont, Ill.

Utica, Ill.

weather.com      iWitness Weather/Ashley Wear Lillie

Utica, Ill.Associated PressAn aerial photo shows floodwaters from the Illinois River at near record levels in Utica, Ill., Friday, April 19, 2013. Utica Mayor Fred Esmond issued an evacuation recommendation Thursday, which many residents took. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday declared 38 counties as state disaster areas. (AP Photo/NewsTribune, Genna Ord)

Utica, Ill.

Associated Press – Flood waters from the rising Illinois River encroach on the downtown businesses in Utica, Ill., Thursday, April 19, 2013. (AP Photo/NewsTribune, Amanda Whitlock)

Utica, Ill.

Associated Press – London Mills Assistant Fire Chief Scott Butler, left, and volunteer Shawn Taylor go house to house checking on flooded residents Friday, April 19, 2013, in London Mills, Ill., after the Spoon River overflowed the levee.(AP Photo/Journal Star, Fred Zwicky)

On Saturday, more than 50 river/stream gauges were in major flood in parts of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.

Below is a state-by-state look at the latest from the ongoing massive flooding in the Midwest.

Illinois

Record flooding has been been recorded at around a dozen river gauges in the state. New record crests include: Des Plaines River at Des Plaines and Riverside IL; Vermilion River at Leonore IL; East Branch DuPage River at Bolingbrook; North Branch Chicago River in Chicago; Illinois River at Morris, Ottawa, and LaSalle IL; Fox River at Algonquin Tailwater IL. Also records at Spoon River, Seville IL; Lamoine River at Colmar IL. The Rock River at Bryon hit a record, but the period of record only dates to 2000.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declared a state of emergency to help with widespread flooding issues.
On Thursday morning, heavy rain in Chicago ripped open a sinkhole large enough to swallow three cars and injuring one driver badly enough that he had to be hospitalized.

April 2013 is currently the third wettest April in Chicago’s history with 7.83 inches of precipitation.
Along the Mississippi River, Alton, Ill. was expected to see its fifth highest flood on record Monday into Tuesday. At this level, commercial damages begin in Alton.
The Rock River was expected to reach near a record level in Moline, Ill. by Sunday.
As many as 1,500 residents of the northern Illinois city of Marseilles were evacuated Thursday night when fears of a levee breach were heightened as seven barges broke free from a towing vessel and came to rest against a dam on the Illinois River.
In the central Illinois town of London Mills, the Spoon River topped a levee and forced the evacuations of half of the 500 residents.
In Quincy, Ill., the Mississippi rose a “pretty amazing” nearly 10 feet in 36 hours, National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs said. One of two bridges there was shut down Friday, and the sewage plant was threatened. “It’s just been skyrocketing,” Fuchs added of the Mississippi’s swift rise. Downriver from Quincy, a bridge at Louisiana, Mo., was to close at noon Saturday

VIEW: Illinois Flood Warnings
Background

Flood Warnings

Flood Warnings

Michigan

Record flooding is ongoing on the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Mich. A crest of just under 23 feet was expected late Sunday into Monday. If the river reaches 23 feet, major flooding of residential areas could occur.
VIEW: Michigan Flood Warnings

Missouri

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the Missouri National Guard to aid flood-fighting efforts.

The Army Corps of Engineers said Friday most of the locks and dams from the Quad Cities to near St. Louis were closed due to the flood, effectively halting barge and other traffic on that part of the Mississippi.
In Clarksville, Mo., a small, scenic Mississippi River town about 60 miles north of St. Louis, some 100 people were working feverishly to build a makeshift levee of gravel, plastic overlap and sandbags in a bid keep downtown dry. The heavy rain caused a sudden surge in the river, with a crest expected Sunday into Monday. “I’m confident it will work, but I’m not confident we’re going to get it done in time,” Clarksville resident Richard Cottrell, 64, said of the sandbag levee. “It’s a race against the clock.”
In Hannibal, Mo., the flood gates were installed in open sections of the levee that protects the Mark Twain sites and the rest of downtown. Emergency management director John Hark said he was in “full flood fight” mode.
The Mississippi River was expected to reach its eighth highest crest on record in St. Louis Tuesday into Wednesday. At this level the Choteau Island Levee, protecting 2400 acres, is overtopped. Also, Lemay Park just south of Lemay Ferry Road will begin flood.Farther south, major flooding is also expected by Tuesday or Wednesday in Cape Girardeau. If the river reaches a level of 42 feet as forecast, some homes could be affected and evacuations may be required for some areas.

Rainfall totals in the Midwest this past Wednesday-Thursday.

Iowa

At Burlington, Iowa, the Mississippi River was at just over 20 feet Saturday morning. The river was expected to rise to near its third or fourth highest level on record in Burlington at just under 22 feet Sunday into Monday.
Seven inches of rainfall were reported in North Liberty Wednesday into Thursday, where hail fell a day before. Multiple towns reported flash flooding on Wednesday and Thursday, with people trapped in cars, mudslides and creeks overflowing their banks, according to local reports.
VIEW: Iowa Flood Warnings

Indiana

In central Indiana, the Wabash River in Tippecanoe County near Lafayette could crest Saturday at 25.3 feet – its highest level in more than a half-century, according to the National Weather Service. This will cause flooding around parts of the Lafayette area.
VIEW: Indiana Flood Warnings

Wisconsin

Major flooding reported at several river gauge locations along the Rock River.
Major flooding was occurring on the Fox River near New Munster. The river was at a level of 14.5 feet on Saturday morning which results in widespread flooding in the town of Salem and the village of Silver City.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Severe Storms Target East Coast Friday

A cold front will head through the East Coast on Friday with a threat of scattered severe storms.

Background
Published: Apr 19, 2013, 8:38 AM EDT weather.com

Friday’s Forecast

Localized damaging wind gusts are the main concern from the southern Mid-Atlantic to the central/eastern Carolinas, however we cannot rule out an isolated tornado. The cold front responsible for the storms will then push off the East Coast Friday night, allowing the weekend ahead to be mostly free of severe weather.

In addition to severe thunderstorms, heavy rain from this same storm system has caused significant flooding in the Midwest. The Chicago metro area was hit hard by major flash flooding on Thursday morning.

Major flooding is either ongoing or is forecast to occur at many river gauge locations along the Mississippi River in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. Several river gauge locations in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and Lower Michigan are also forecast to see major flooding.

Altogether, 46 river/stream gauge locations were in major flooding as of early Friday morning in parts of Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.

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