Sub-freezing temperatures in Bloomington on the second day of 2022 signaled a contrast between the last month of 2021 and the start to the new year.
The National Weather Service office for Indianapolis led off its Jan. 2 forecast like this: “The recent warm weather pattern has come to an end. Colder temperatures will persist through the upcoming week.”
What did the “recent warm weather pattern” mean for Bloomington?
December 2021 ranked fourth warmest as defined by the mean of the average daily temperature among all Decembers—since records started being kept by the Indiana University weather station in 1895.
Winter radishes at People’s Market on Dec. 25, 2021.
This year, Christmas fell on Saturday, the regular day for the weekly People’s Market, which operates from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. out of Full House Fitness on Elm Street.
The market was open for business as usual this Saturday.
Around 10:30 a.m. about a dozen pre-orders sat bagged on a table waiting for pickup. The bags contained still-on-the-stalk Brussels sprouts, heads of cabbage, radishes, and broccoli, among other locally grown produce.
Santa Claus, in the form of Jada Bee, a regular market vendor and organizer, was also on hand to spread some cheer. She quickly swapped out a full Santa beard and hat combo for just a hat, to keep from overheating.
Three decades from now, Indiana is forecast to see between 6 and 8 percent more rainfall than it averaged in the past, depending on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions during the lead-up to mid-century.
The abnormal amount of region-wide rainfall has caused high water on Lake Monroe. Last week Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources closed the swim beaches at the lake’s Fairfax SRA and Paynetown SRA and they’ve stayed closed.
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.
At Wednesday’s meeting of Monroe County commissioners, county director of emergency management Allison Moore told them no outdoor burn ban was yet recommended for the county, despite persistent dry conditions.
She still asked the public to exercise caution: “We do challenge you to make good decisions when you’re burning things.” Making good decisions includes making sure you have a good preparedness plan in place, she added.
Moore said that she had been busy with other officials contemplating the same kind of burn ban that 14 other counties across south central Indiana had implemented over the last few weeks.
In this latest dry phase, the first county to declare a burn ban was Martin County, southwest of Monroe County, on Sept. 10.
Owen County, northwest of Monroe County, had earlier declared a ban, but lifted it on Oct. 1.
The quarter inch (0.24) of rain recorded at the weather station on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington during the month of September made it the third-driest September for the period of record dating back to 1895.
Wednesday morning, a pontoon pilot approached the Lake Monroe causeway—it’s where SR 446 crosses the reservoir, leaving a gap at the south end for boaters to navigate under the road.
But the captain reversed his engine, brought his craft about, then idled, floating maybe 30 yards west of the underpass. He and his crewmate made quick work of the task that allowed them to navigate through the opening: They unclipped the guy wires and lowered the frame that held the canopy aloft.
They might have had enough clearance to scrape under the bridge, without lowering the sun shade. But the record-high levels of the lake—for this time of year—meant that it would have been close.
At its regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Bloomington City Council will consider “adjusting stormwater fees.” It’s the second reading of a change to the city’s ordinance on the “stormwater utility.”
Of course, a “fee adjustment” generally means an increase of the fee.
And Bloomington’s proposed adjustment is a more than doubling of the monthly fee paid by single-family residential (SFR) customers—implemented in two phases over six months. The first bump, to $4.32 per month, would go into effect about four months from now, on July 1, 2019. Six months after that, on Jan. 1, 2020, the rate would go up to $5.95 per month.
More than a decade and a half has gone by since the rate was increased. (It was Ordinance 03-24, enacted in 2003, that put the current rate into effect, according to the city’s online municipal code.)
The Dillman Road bridge is one of 224 Monroe County bridges included in the National Bridge Inventory, a database maintained by the Federal Highway Administration.
Based on the latest records available in the NBI, after a March 2016 inspection, the Dillman Road bridge had a “Sufficiency Rating” of 44.9 out of 100. Records in the database show that replacement of the bridge is proposed.