St. Barbara Catholic Church in Cloverdale was destroyed on Nov. 17 when an EF2 tornado went through the town. (Putnam Sentinel/Anne Coburn-Griffis)
St. Barbara Catholic Church in Cloverdale was destroyed on Nov. 17 when an EF2 tornado went through the town. (Putnam Sentinel/Anne Coburn-Griffis)
PUTNAM COUNTY - While local and regional officials were holding their breath about more funding for Blanchard River flood mitigation, the river continued to flood during 2013.

In 2013, Putnam County struggled with flooding, tornadoes blizzards and even a drought.
The Blanchard River rose above flood stage three times in 2013. The first time it went over the banks was Jan. 14. Flood stage is 23 feet and the river crested at 23.8 feet, flooding some low-lying areas,

Heavy rains in April caused another flood on April 13. This time the river crested at 27.31 feet, causing some roads to be closed until the waters receded.

The third flood was more recent, when on Dec. 23, the river crested at 28.83 feet. From Dec. 1 to Dec. 23, the county received 4.53 inches of rain and 13.8 inches of snow. The runoff of the melting snow and additional rainfall caused the flooding just prior to Christmas.

This corresponds with above average rainfall for five months during 2013 according to official weather observer Guy Verhoff.

During January, the precipitation was 3.3 inches. The normal average is 2.04 inches.

Wet weather was also experienced in March and April. During March, Verhoff reported 3.14 inches of total precipitation, including about 3.8 inches of snow. The normal for this month is 2.71 inches.

April brought even more rain with 5.11 inches of precipitation. The normal for this month is 3.29 inches.

Unfortunately, during May and June the county experienced drought conditions with the drought labeled as a D-1 drought by the end of June. Weather specialist Verhoff reported precipitation well under average during May. The normal average is 3.67 inches. Verhoff only recorded 1.41 inches of rain during this month.

The following month was the same, making it difficult and stressful for farmers. In June, there was only 2.06 inches of rain, well below the 4.16 inches of precipitation normally seen during that month.

October was also another wet month when the county received almost double the normal average for the month. Precipitation for October was 5.65 inches while the normal is 2.68 inches.

The year began with the county recovering from near blizzard conditions during late 2012.

Then on Nov. 17, a devastating storm struck in Putnam County. An EF2 Tornado hit Cloverdale, destroying their church and numerous houses in the community.

Although the average monthly temperatures were close to normal during 2013, the year still had some variety for Putnam County residents.

March came in like a lamb and had a high temperature of 68 degrees on March 17. Unfortunately, residents had to bring their winter coats out of the closet when the temperature dropped to 19 degrees Fahrenheit on March 28.

June was also a month of widely-fluctuating temperatures with a 46 degree difference in the high and low temperatures for the month. On June 25, residents sweltered when the thermometer went up to 91 degrees Fahrenheit. This was after they had some chill time as the temperature dropped to 45 degrees Fahrenheit on June 4. Even December provided some variety with a high of 61 degrees on Dec. 5 and a low of -2 degrees Fahrenheit on Dec. 12.

story created on Monday 12/30/2013 at 12:26:10 pm by Nancy Kline
story modified on Tuesday 12/31/2013 at 11:49:14 am by Kirk Dougal