Milwaukee Flooded by Thunderstorms

By By Bill Deger, Meteorologist
July 23, 2010, 6:19:24 AM EDT

Tremendous flooding in southern Wisconsin forced the closure of Milwaukee's airport Thursday evening, and more flooding is possible later Friday.

Severe thunderstorms dropped several inches of rain Thursday evening across southern Wisconsin, reportedly up to 8 inches in some portions of Milwaukee. The rainfall was heaviest between 6 and 9 p.m. local time, when many locations recorded as much as 6 inches of rain.

Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport will remain closed until at least noon local time Friday due to flooding on the airfield and roadways, according to the airport's website. The airport officially totaled 5.22" of rain, the third highest 24-hour total ever recorded at the airport.


This Doppler radar storm total rainfall image spans early Thursday morning, July 22, 2010, into Friday midday, July 23, 2010.

Several tornadoes and wind damage were also reported in southern Wisconsin Thursday evening in association with powerful thunderstorms.

The storms resulted in the cancellation of dozens of flights, and air traffic controllers at Mitchell airport even had to evacuate for an hour Thursday night due to a tornado warning, according to WTAQ Radio.

A large sinkhole also opened up at an intersection near downtown Milwaukee, swallowing an SUV. An official at the city's Public Works Department estimated the sinkhole to be 20-feet deep and 15-feet wide.

Additional powerful thunderstorms were moving into southern Wisconsin Friday morning. Thunderstorms with flooding rainfall are expected to impact the area through at least Saturday morning. Related to the Story: North Central Radar Severe Weather Center Visit our Facebook Fan Page Follow us on Twitter Breaking Weather Extreme Weather with Henry Margusity

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