Floods, among the most terrifying forces on Earth, have led to countless disasters throughout history. The story of a catastrophic flood — a metaphor for a cleansing of humanity’s sins — appears in many cultures, from ancient Mesopotamia to China, to Maya peoples and aboriginal tribes in Australia. Last year was a deadly year for floods in Asia. Eight such events resulted in the death of more than 100 people, according to research from the Epidemiology of Disaster (CRED) in Brussels, which maintains a global database of natural and technological disasters.
Flooding killed 83 people in the United States in 2018, the most lethal type of weather event in the nation. By comparison, only 10 people died from tornadoes last year. Floods also are responsible for about $6 billion in damage annually in this country, according to National Geographic.
Much of the severe flooding in America has occurred around the Mississippi River and in Texas, as well as along the Gulf Coast and Florida, because those areas are vulnerable to hurricanes. Floods have shaped the history of our nation, wiping out some communities forever, and forcing others to start a new life in another part of the country.
24/7 Wall St. has created a list of the 30 worst floods in our nation’s history. We used data compiled by government agencies, including the National Weather Service, and consulted sources such as media accounts of historical weather events to develop this list.