Photos: Kirkwood Flood of 2021

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Around 3 inches of rain fell on the Bloomington area starting around 10:45 through half past midnight on June 19.

The thunderstorm knocked out power for around 6,000 Duke Energy customers, including a swatch of 1,500 customers east of the downtown square. The initial estimated time for restoration of power indicated on Duke’s outage map was 5 a.m.

The heavy rains that came with the wind and lightning caused street flooding in several areas, including East Kirkwood from Dunn to Grant. A car could be seen stuck on Grant Street in the block south of Kirkwood, swamped by the water flowing south.

The water was thigh deep in some places.

In the photos that accompany this story, yellow bollards are visible blocking off Kirkwood to vehicle traffic. [Monroe County floodplains from FEMA data]

The bollards are unrelated to the stormwater. The street has been closed for a few months to allow restaurants to expand their outdoor seating onto the street, as part of Bloomington’s effort to help the business community recover from the pandemic.

At the intersection of Grant and Kirkwood, while the B Square was on the scene, just after midnight, four firefighters arrived on foot with long poles, apparently to give the storm drains a poke.

Before they tackled the flooded intersection, the firefighters attended to a person sitting on the steps of Moonstones. After a brief exchange, one of the firefighters was dispatched back to the fire station at Fourth and Lincoln streets to retrieve a medical kit.

The B Square retreated briefly to the overhang of the Monroe County Public Library and was not able to see what specific work the firefighters undertook. But about 10 minutes later, the water level of the intersection had dropped significantly.

Grayscale versions of photos

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2 thoughts on “Photos: Kirkwood Flood of 2021

  1. Great job, Dave!

    Are the weather graphs in the “3 inches of rain fell” link from a personal weather station that you set up yourself?

    1. No, that link is to whatever uses for rainfall totals. The amount for the relevant time period, into the morning, seems like it was closer to 5–7 inches, based on The NWS hourly reporting from the Monroe County station seems like it was offline for 5 critical hours.

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