Electronic Documents of Illinois
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The pre-Christmas 2004 snowstorm disaster in the Ohio River Valley.
- The worst winter storm on record in southern Illinois occurred on December 22-23, 2004, and then moved eastward with severe impacts for Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Snowfall amounts from the storm that lasted 30 hours at many locations reached 29 inches, and more than 6 inches fell over a 137,600-square-mile area. Snowfall totals set new records across southern Illinois, the southern half of Indiana, and western Ohio. This prolonged, enormous storm system also produced a major ice storm along its southern edge in Kentucky and Ohio. This record event produced a myriad of impacts totaling $900 million in losses and costs. All aspects of transportation were affected, and the impacts were extreme because the storm occurred at a time of extensive pre-holiday travel. Traffic was paralyzed on numerous interstate highways, and thousands of persons were stranded for 6-36 hours in the bitter cold. Hundreds of airline flights were cancelled or delayed, and trains were halted at several locations. Thousands of vehicular accidents led to numerous injuries, and 17 persons died as a result of the storm. Insured property losses totaled $230 million, ranking the storm as the 32nd most damaging among the nation's 156 catastrophic winter storms since records began in 1949. Airline losses were extremely high, $260 million, and costs to remove snow and ice from highways and streets totaled $133 million. Unusual atmospheric conditions created this unique winter storm. An arctic cold front interacted with a warm, moist air mass along the Ohio River valley, producing the first phase of winter precipitation. A few hours later, a low-pressure center from east Texas moved to the northeast just south of the Ohio River valley, causing the second phase of the storm. Extremely cold arctic air covered the storm area for four days, creating record low temperatures throughout the region that limited recovery efforts.
Originally Deposited as: 999999994452
Phone Number: Language(s): EN-English Volume or Year: 2005
Number or Issue: Date Created: 5 5 2005
Date Last Modified: 5 5 2005 Librarian Remarks:
Access This Publication1. The pre-Christmas 2004 snowstorm disaster in the Ohio River Valley. (20061003184453_ISWSCR2005-03.pdf).
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