Worst Floods in American History

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Flooding along the Missouri River in March claimed several lives and caused billions of dollars in damage to Midwestern states Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa. Crops were destroyed and water treatment plants were badly damaged, leaving many residents without access to drinking water. Many of the hardest-hit towns will likely continue to struggle with problems that may not get resolved for months and years to come.

Much of the severe flooding in America’s history has occurred around the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, as well as along the Gulf Coast and Florida, because those areas are vulnerable to hurricanes. These are just some of the areas in the country that are facing increasingly severe weather because of climate change.

24/7 Wall St. used data compiled by government agencies, as well as media accounts, to create a list of the 30 worst floods in our nation’s history by the number of fatalities.

In many cases, the aftermath can be much worse than the flooding itself. When rising waters take out power stations or water treatment facilities, it can take communities months or even years to rebuild. States with crumbling infrastructure can be especially hard hit by flooding.

24/7 Wall St. used government sources such as the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Geological Survey as well as media reports about the flood events to determine the worst floods in U.S. history by the number of fatalities. Cost of the damage is in inflation-adjusted dollars. In order to capture the scope of these tragic historical chapters in our nation’s history, we tried to include any and all weather-related events that could have contributed to floods.

Click here to see the worst floods in American history.