The Deadliest US Floods

Worst US Floods
The Deadliest US Floods By Death Toll

The disasters listed here exclude hurricane-caused flooding. See the list of deadliest US hurricanes for these.

1.
Johnstown, PA
May 31, 1889
Death Toll: 2,200

Several days of extremely heavy rainfall, brought about the collapse of the South Fork Dam, which was 14 miles upstream of Johnstown, PA.  It was the first major disaster relief effort handled by the new American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton. Support for victims came from all over the United States and 18 foreign countries. It remains one of the greatest disasters in U.S. history.

The Johnstown Flood also became a social cause celebre, because the dam that collapsed had been built to create a lake for vacationing millionaires, such as Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon, while the inhabitants of the town were Welsh and German immigrants.

2.
Mississippi Valley
January and February 1937
Death Toll: 1,100

Heavy rains flooded 12,700 square miles, destroying 75,000 homes, and leaving 600,000 refugees.

3.
Ohio River
March, 1913
Death Toll: 700

Heavy rains brought severe flooding. The disaster led to the nation’s first flood control board and programs.

4.
Santa Paula, CA
March 12, 1928
Death Toll: 450

Collapse of the St. Francis Dam

5.
Rapid City, SD
June 9 - 10, 1972
Death Toll: 237
Flash flood

6.
Kansas City, Missouri
May 16 - June 1, 1903
Death Toll: 200

Heavy rains brought flooding that raised the level of the Missouri River 35 feet.

7.
Mississippi Valley
April - May 1912
Death Toll: 200

The Mississippi River overflows its banks.

8.
Willow Creek, OR
1903
Death Toll: 200
Flash flood sweeps away a third of the town.

9.
Man, WV
Feb. 26, 1972
Death Toll: 118
Slag pile dam collapses under torrential rains.

10.
Loveland, CO
August 1, 1976
Death Toll: 139
Flash flood in Big Thompson Canyon

Posted by The Editor on 01/09 at 10:04 PM

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