Haley Altgilbers

Dr. Kahn
Honors Weather and Climate
13 November 2014
Mount Carmel is a small town and the county seat in Wabash County with a current
population of 7,140. The population has decreased by 10 percent since 2000. The town is
situated in south-eastern Illinois right along the Wabash River and the Illinois-Indiana border,
which is also not far from Kentucky. The closest commercial city to Mount Carmel, Illinois is
Evansville, Indiana at thirty-two miles away with a population of 121,582. (City-Data.com)
Mount Carmel’s historical tornado activity is somewhat higher than the Illinois state
average and the overall United States average, and the historical earthquake activity is
significantly higher than the Illinois state average. The Mount Carmel area has experienced four
earthquakes over magnitude 4.0 on the Richter Scale since 2002 and two more since 1974 the
largest being a magnitude 5.4 earthquake occurring 6.9 miles away from the center of the city.
The number of natural disasters occurring in Wabash County is half the United States average.
Four of these disasters were storms, three were floods, three were tornadoes, one was a
hurricane, and one was a snow, noting that some incidents are included in more than one
category. (City-Data.com)
The most notable tornado to have occurred in Mount Carmel, Illinois took place on June
4, 1877. Its intensity was F4, and it touched down on the west side of the town and moved east

but it was also the center of much learning and social advance. the Wabash contributed to the growth of Indiana and Illinois by providing a vital transportation link.noaa.org) What is currently named the Wabash River (just east of Mount Carmel) was originally called “Wah-Bah Shik-Ki” by the Native Americans meaning “pure white” but it was eventually anglicized by settles to its current name. Missouri. an earthquake of magnitude 5. Hours later an aftershock of 4.gov) Mount Carmel is considered to be in the Wabash Valley seismic zone. When French explorers started to settle. This started to build . For many years. These quakes were felt across southern Illinois and even as far as St. and the wind velocity was estimated at about 150 miles per hour for almost two minutes.archive. 2008 at about 4:30 in the afternoon. (crh.2 on the Richter scale occurred with its center very near the city.Altgilbers 2 and north. The storm cased destruction mostly between Third and Fifth streets. This tornado caused as many as thirty deaths and one hundred injuries. On April 18. the Wabash became a trade route for French fur traders linking the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. The largest earthquake that has ever taken place in the Wabash Valley seismic zone was a magnitude 5. The canal however was also doomed as the invention of the locomotive followed quickly after its completion. but it left a long lasting heritage in diverse ethnic groups who came to construct the canal and settled in the valley.6 magnitude occurred in the same general area. (web. but the river eventually proved unreliable and the WabashErie Canal was built along the river. Louis. and at least one hundred homes were damaged or destroyed by the sever conditions. This river was the site of war and bloodshed.4 earthquake in 1968. part of the Wabash Valley Fault System.

Realistically. but occasionally some in a higher class were found in the area. and Gibson Generating Station in the East Mount Carmel area.02 feet on May 3. Classes will be delayed or suspended if any student or faculty’s safety is threatened by severe . but most were imperfect and not of great value. Pearls were found in the mussels. 2011. For example. Mussels were gathered so the shells could be used to manufacture buttons. but it has been overtopped on a few occasions. This levee generally does its job. seventy residencies. Establishments in the areas that flood most often have taken measures to protect against the water. On the river side of the levee.us) The nearby Wabash River floods semi-frequently and reached a record breaking crest of 34. blizzards. ice storms. and flooding. (wabashriver. there is a restaurant very close to the banks of the Wabash River that is built on stilts above ground. the local community college and one of four Eastern Illinois Community Colleges.Altgilbers 3 “canal towns” which quickly became industrialized and began focusing on the production of good instead of just transportation.weather. there are only several mobile homes and a few old buildings and businesses. There are several old residencies on the river side of the levee that have received significant water damage. but properties near the river could be in danger if the levee breaks or overflows. but during the summer of 2014 the river got so high that the restaurant still flooded. but they are not always effective. In the early 1900s the Wabash (particularly the city of Vincennes.gov) Wabash Valley College. Indiana) was a popular center of pearling. (water. has disaster procedures for tornadoes. There’s a levee near the banks that protects a coal mine. the entire town is not in danger of flooding from Wabash.

and outside walls and to protect their head by assuming the squat position (with a textbook if one is readily available). If an injured person is found. Once in the building. the emergency plan in the student handbook tells students to stay away from windows.edu) Mount Carmel currently lacks any sort of official storm or tornado shelter. the college’s web page. If they cannot get to a designated storm safety building – or a building at all – their best plan of action would be to lie flat in the nearest ditch or ravine with their hands shielding their head.Altgilbers 4 weather conditions. If funnel clouds have been spotted. Caution should be used when exiting a damaged building. local radio stations. During an actual tornado warning the city’s storm warning system will be activated with the storm sirens. be ready to take shelter. students are to move to pre-designated tornado shelter areas on campus report the sighting to the local police department or sheriff’s office if at all possible. It would be extremely beneficial for the town to have one built specifically for the safety of the community or to have a set public building for people to go to in the event of severe weather. Mount .edu) Their tornado and severe thunderstorm procedure advises students to be alert. (iecc. A message will be sent through the emergency alert system. A person should be especially watchful for broken glass and downed power lines. doors. the first action should be to check for injuries. monitor local radio and television stations. and avoid the use of telephones while lighting is occurring. (iecc. they should not be moved if at all possible while an ambulance is called. Students are advised to again monitor local radio and television stations for further instructions. After the tornado has passed. and local television networks at the President’s discretion.

the people should be able to leave Mount Carmel Middle School and return to their homes to check for damage. As long as the conditions are relatively safe outside. recover any possessions they can. bathrooms. There was a levee built roughly three hundred feet from the banks of the river that stands at about twenty feet tall. but the building would be able to house and protect a significant amount of people that live in a home without a basement or personal storm shelter or do not have access to one or the other with a neighbor or family member. (wabashcountychamber. which would make it the obvious first choice for a place for the community to gather under a tornado warning. Once the weather outside is safe. Illinois has already taken certain measure for flood prevention and protection.Altgilbers 5 Carmel Middle School is the newest building in the district (at thirteen years old being built in January 2000 into 2001) with state of the art facilities.com) The city of Mount Carmel. or hallways around the centrally located library or media center. which is less than ten percent of the entire population. The facility would be able to house at least six hundred people. if the building’s exits are in good condition. The rest of Mount Carmel’s population should be able to keep safe in their own basement or storm shelter or with a family member or neighbor who has a basement or storm shelter. It was built in the early to mid-1900s during . all members of the community who need shelter from an impending tornado or severe thunder storm should move to Mount Carmel Middle School (1520 Poplar Street) where they will be sent to shelter themselves in the locker rooms. These areas of the building should be safest because they are not located around the edges of the building and do not have any windows. and reconvene with family members who might have not found shelter at Mount Carmel Middle School.

Altgilbers 6 The Great Depression along with the community’s public city pool and the Mount Carmel High School football stadium to provide jobs for Mount Carmel’s residents. The city of Mount Carmel. What would be most helpful for the town and its citizens in the event of severe weather would be to have whatever disaster plan is in place more thoroughly publicized through a place like the city’s website (cityofmtcarmel. To avoid property damage. no more homes or businesses should be constructed on the river side of the levee. but it has been known to break or overflow if the rain and flooding is too serious. they should take their own flood-safe precautions like constructing the building a significant distance above ground so the flood waters won’t be able to reach the inside of the structure. Their biggest problem might be that any disaster plan that is in place is not available anywhere online or easily by contacting city hall or any of its people. In previous cases of detrimental flooding the people of Mount Carmel have gotten together to pile sandbags on top of the levee to add increase its height and prevent any possible overflowing. Illinois has a surprising lack of disaster plan considering its significant history of severe weather. This method has been effective and should be continued in such circumstances. .com) or told to kids in school. If they must be built there.

There was a lot of fluctuation in temperature and weather conditions as the seasons were shifting from fall to winter. The first graph compares Temperature. October 4. and Humidity for the entire two week time span. Dew Point. which is generally the hottest part of the day. There were some days like Wednesday. The dew point has less prominent relation. September 21 to Saturday. The second and third days of October were cold and rainy threatening thunderstorms but never actually reaching severe weather conditions. temperatures got as low as 37 degrees Fahrenheit (October 5). September 27 that were very warm and felt more like the end of summer than it did like autumn. and as high as 77 degrees Fahrenheit in the afternoon. Illinois from October 1 to October 14. which is very near freezing temperatures. It was only towards the end of the two week period that I kept track of the weather that it started to get significantly colder and even this was mostly due to the wind. September 24 and Saturday. In this graph. but the curve generally follows the same structure as the . Data and Graphs I have also collected and graphed data from Weather Underground on the weather in Mount Carmel. Illinois from Sunday.Altgilbers 7 Daily Weather Log I kept a daily log of the weather I experienced at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Within this time. Some days felt warm and pleasant like spring while others required coats and scarves to combat the cold wind. Most of the days otherwise were very pleasant and sunny with just a light breeze. it is easy to notice how the humidity and temperature peak at opposite times every day – humidity in the early morning hours and temperature in the early afternoon.

it drops with the temperature. Temperature and Dew Point are compared in degrees Fahrenheit for October 2 and October 13. Mount Carmel experienced heavy thunderstorms. the temperature behaves in a similar way. This makes sense because all severe weather conditions like tornadoes and thunder storms stem from low pressure conditions. It drops by more than ten degrees. just less significantly. Illinois. The temperatures were mostly around fifty or sixty degrees Fahrenheit. On both of these days. On both October 2 and October 13. the pressure drops significantly in the afternoon. about fifteen. The dew point. . just as the storm hit on both days (4:30 PM on October 2 and 6:30 PM on October 13).Altgilbers 8 temperature. behaves differently on both days. On most days the pressure peaked in the late morning which could potentially have something to do with temperature rising as the day goes on. On these days the conditions were relatively mild if just a little bit overcast and drizzly. the days when heavy thunderstorms were experienced. The pressure was highest in the mornings of October 9 and October 11. The next graph again compares Temperature and Humidity for October 1 through October 14 but this time without Dew Point so the high and low points are even more clear and contrasting in that they take turns reaching their high points and low points. however. In both graphs. On October 2. In the next two. but on October 13. The last graph shows just the Pressure in inches for October 1 through October 14 in Mount Carmel. it rises to meet the temperature.

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