Special Report

Worst Floods in American History

John Harrington

Floods, among the most terrifying forces on Earth, have led to countless disasters throughout history. They continue to exact a toll on the American landscape, occurring frequently after hurricanes. The 2019 hurricane season is expected to be near normal, with nine to 15 named storms (those with winds of 39 mph or higher), according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hurricane Barry slammed into Louisiana in early July, causing flash floods in New Orleans and some flooding along the Louisiana coastline. Other parts of the United States suffered from flooding earlier this year. Heavy rain inundated parts of the Midwest and Southeast in early June, triggering flash flooding in Tennessee, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina. The Midwest was already awash in water this spring because of a heavy snowmelt and higher-than-average rainfall in the spring.

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.

Flooding killed 83 people in the United States in 2018, the most lethal type of weather event in the nation. By comparison, 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. These are the most powerful hurricanes of all time. Floods have shaped the history of our nation, wiping out some communities forever and forcing people to start a new life in another part of the country. These are worst natural disasters in every state.

Click here to see the worst floods in American history.