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Encyclopedia > Great Flood of 1993
Great Flood of 1993
Flood waters inundated parts of Jefferson City, MO and threatened the Missouri State Capitol during the "Great Flood of 1993".
Duration April - October 1993
Damages $15 billion [1]
Fatalities 50 [1]
Areas affected Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

The Great Flood of 1993 occurred in the American Midwest, along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and their tributaries, from April to October of 1993. The flood was among the most costly and devastating to ever occur in The United States, with $15 billion in damages. The hydrographic basin affected cover around 745 miles (1200 km) in length and 435 miles (700 km) in width, totalling about 320,000 square miles (840,000 km²)[1]. Within this zone, the flooded area totalled around 30,000 square miles (80,000 km²)[2] and was the worst such U.S. disaster since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, as measured by duration, square miles inundated, persons displaced, crop and property damage, and number of record river levels. In some categories, the 1993 flood even surpassed the 1927 flood, at the time the largest flood ever recorded on the Mississippi. Official language(s) English[1] Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Largest metro area Chicago Metropolitan Area Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (140,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Largest metro area Minneapolis-St. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Official language(s) English Capital Lincoln Largest city Omaha Largest metro area Omaha Area  Ranked 16th  - Total 77,421 sq mi (200,520 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 430 miles (690 km)  - % water 0. ... Official language(s) English Capital Bismarck Largest city Fargo Area  Ranked 19th  - Total 70,762 sq mi (183,272 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 340 miles (545 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) English Capital Pierre Largest city Sioux Falls Area  Ranked 17th  - Total 77,116[1] sq mi (199,905 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 380 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... The Midwest is a common name for a region of the United States of America. ... For the river in Canada, see Mississippi River (Ontario). ... The Missouri River is a tributary of the Mississippi River in the United States. ... Flooding in Amphoe Sena, Ayutthaya Province, Thailand. ... The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in United States history. ...

Contents

Causes

Satellite photo of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers near St. Louis, Missouri during the Great Flood of 1993.
Same location imaged by the Landsat program in September 2002
Same location imaged by the Landsat program in September 2002

It has been suggested that unusually heavy precipitation beginning in the year leading up to the flood was the result of excess cloud condensation nuclei from the earth-circling ash cloud generated by the massive eruption (the second largest of the 20th century) of the Philippines volcano Mount Pinatubo in 1991. A rainy autumn in 1992 resulted in above normal soil moisture and reservoir levels in the Missouri and Upper Mississippi River basins, and during the winter of 1992-93, the region experienced heavy snowfall. These conditions were followed by persistent spring weather patterns that produced storms over the same locations. These wet weather conditions contrasted sharply with the droughts and heat waves experienced in the southeastern United States. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1141x614, 193 KB)Satellite photo of northern St. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1141x614, 193 KB)Satellite photo of northern St. ... Landsat 7, launched in 1999, is the most recent addition to the Landsat program. ... Aerosol pollution over Northern India and Bangladesh - NASA Cloud condensation nuclei or CCNs (also known as cloud seeds) are small particles (typically 0. ... Ash plume from Mt Cleveland, a stratovolcano Diamond Head, a well-known backdrop to Waikiki in Hawaii, is an ash cone that solidified into tuff Volcanic ash consists of very fine rock and mineral particles less than 2 mm in diameter that are ejected from a volcanic vent. ... Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska photographed from the International Space Station For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, at the intersection of the borders of the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. ... The Missouri River is a tributary of the Mississippi River in the United States. ... For the river in Canada, see Mississippi River (Ontario). ... Fields outside Benambra, Victoria, Australia suffering from drought conditions A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. ... For other uses, see Heat wave (disambiguation). ...


Storms, persistent and repetitive in nature during the late spring and summer, bombarded the Upper Midwest with voluminous rainfall amounts. Portions of east-central Iowa received as much as 48 inches (1,200 mm) of rain, between April 1 and August 31, 1993, and many areas across the central-northern plains had 400-750% above, normal precipitation. [1] In the St. Louis National Weather Service (NWS) forecast area encompassing eastern Missouri and southwest Illinois, 36 forecast points rose above flood stage, and 20 river stage records were broken. The 1993 flood broke record river levels set during the 1973 Mississippi and the 1951 Missouri River floods. is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Nickname: Location in the state of Missouri Coordinates: , Country State County Independent City Government  - Mayor Francis G. Slay (D) Area  - City  66. ... The National Weather Service (NWS) is one of the six scientific agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States government. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Largest metro area Chicago Metropolitan Area Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (140,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... Flood stage is the point at which the surface of a river, creek, or other body of water has risen to a sufficient level to cause damage. ...


An Illinois man, James Scott, 24 at the time, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in causing some of the flooding, officially convicted for "intentionally causing a catastrophe". Scott removed several sandbags from a levee holding back the water, in an attempt to strand his wife on the other side of the river so he could continue partying. The breach flooded 14,000 acres (57 km²) of farmland, destroyed buildings and closed a bridge.[3][4] While Scott caused one levee to fail, more than 1,000 levees failed in the flooding.


Timeline

April

The view at the St. Louis riverfront

In April, the Mississippi River had crested 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 m) above flood stage and once again approached near the same levels during the month of May. In the beginning of June, the rivers dropped below flood stage and were receding. During the second week of June, river levels rose to near flood stage before yet again beginning their slow recession. By the end of June, the Mississippi River was four feet (1.2 m) below flood stage at St. Louis, while many other river locations in the region were near flood stage. Precipitation for the month averaged from one inch (25 mm) above normal at Kansas City, to nearly four inches (100 mm) above normal at Springfield. View of St. ... View of St. ... Nickname: Location in the state of Missouri Coordinates: , Country State County Independent City Government  - Mayor Francis G. Slay (D) Area  - City  66. ... Nickname: Location in Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Cass Counties in the state of Missouri. ... Springfield is a city in Christian and Greene Counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. ...


May

The Redwood River in Minnesota began experiencing severe flooding in May. [5] On May 22, Sioux Falls, South Dakota receives 7.5 inches (190 mm) of rain in a three hour period. From May - July, Sioux Falls receives 22.55 inches (573 mm) of rain, the wettest three-month period in its history.[6] The Redwood River watershed is one of 13 major watersheds feeding the Minnesota River. ... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Largest metro area Minneapolis-St. ... is the 142nd day of the year (143rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: Motto: Gateway to the Plains Location in Minnehaha County and the state of South Dakota Counties (metropolitan area) Government  - Mayor Dave Munson Area  - City 178. ...


June

In June, flooding occurred along the Black River in Wisconsin, with flooding also starting to occur along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Kansas Rivers. [5] Starting as early as June 7, reports of levees being overtopped and levee breaks became common. These breaches acted to delay the flood crests, temporarily storing excess water in the adjacent lowlands, but the rain kept falling. Black River is a common name for streams and communities around the world, as well as the Spanish and Portuguese translation for Rio Negro. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... For the river in Canada, see Mississippi River (Ontario). ... The Missouri River is a tributary of the Mississippi River in the United States. ... The Kansas River near De Soto Kaw River (map) looking southward from middle of Turner Diagonal bridge. ... is the 158th day of the year (159th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Mississippi River out of its banks in Festus, Missouri.
Mississippi River out of its banks in Festus, Missouri.

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1912x2812, 711 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Great Flood of 1993 Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Great flood of 1993 in Festus, Missouri Wikipedia:Featured pictures... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1912x2812, 711 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Great Flood of 1993 Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Great flood of 1993 in Festus, Missouri Wikipedia:Featured pictures... Festus is a city in Jefferson County, Missouri, United States. ...

July

July brought more heavy rain to the Missouri and upper Mississippi River basins in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Illinois and Minnesota. Rainfall amounts of 5 to 7 inches (125 to 175 mm) in 24 hours were common. Precipitation for the month averaged from one inch (25 mm) above normal at St. Louis and Springfield, to between six and seven inches (150 to 175 mm) above normal at Columbia and Kansas City, Missouri. The copious rain amounts during July sent record setting crests down the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, causing river gauges to malfunction along the way. Both record crests met each other at their confluence near St. Louis within days of each other.


From July 11 until July 22 the Des Moines, Iowa Water Works treatment facility was flooded by the Raccoon River. This resulted in the plant being powered down and no running water for that period. During this time the Army National Guard and American Red Cross set up water stations, and the local Anheuser-Busch bottler distributed water in white 6-packs with their logo on it. Once running water was restored there was enough pressure to bathe and flush toilets, but the water was not certified potable until July 29. The final usage restrictions were lifted in August. is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 203rd day of the year (204th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the state capital of Iowa. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... The Raccoon River at Van Meter The Raccoon River is a tributary of the Des Moines River in central Iowa in the United States. ... Seal of the Army National Guard The Army National Guard consists of the land force of the United States National Guard, or organized militia, of the several States and Territories, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, active and inactive, as defined in Title 32, USC Section 101. ... A WWII-era poster encouraged American women to volunteer for the Red Cross as part of the war effort. ... Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. ... Drinking water This article focuses on water as we experience it every day. ... is the 210th day of the year (211th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Water encroaching on the City of Alton, Illinois

The Mississippi River stalled a few days at the April 1973 record stages, seemingly waiting for the Missouri River to arrive, before pushing levels upwards again, breaking levees, driving people and their possessions to higher ground and causing havoc with anything in its path. Alton in the Great Flood of 93 Copied from http://www. ... Alton in the Great Flood of 93 Copied from http://www. ... Historic Alton Home Alton is a city in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15 miles north of St. ...


The crests, now combined as one, moved downstream through St. Louis and Chesterfield on its way to the confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois. Only minor flooding occurred below the Ohio due to the river's larger channel below that point, and the drought the eastern U.S. was facing at the same time; if the Ohio River watershed had not been in drought conditions, the 1993 flood might have rivaled the 1927 flood in overall damage on the lower Mississippi. View of Pittsburgh, the largest metropolitan area on the Ohio River, where the Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join at Point State Park to form the Ohio River Cincinnati, Ohio is a well known city along the Ohio River, historically known for its riverboats. ... Cairo is a city in Alexander County, Illinois in the United States. ...


Major sandbagging activities were underway on the lower Missouri River, the River des Peres in St. Louis, the Mississippi River south of St. Louis and on many other tributaries across Missouri and Illinois. Some of these efforts were successful while others were not as the river continued to spawn destruction. Building a sandbag dike along the Skagit River in anticipation of a flood, October 2003. ... The new River des Peres in Forest Park. ...


Civil Air Patrol crews from 21 states served more than 5,000 meals to flood victims and volunteers, and their pilots logged more than 1,500 hours in the air inspecting utility lines and pipelines. [7] Civil Air Patrol Corporate seal The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF). ...


Over 1,000 flood warnings and statements, five times the normal, were issued to notify the public and need-to-know officials of river levels. In places like St. Louis, river levels were nearly 20 feet (6 m) above flood stage and had never been this high in its 228 year history. The 52 foot (16 m) St. Louis Floodwall, built to handle the volume of the 1844 flood, was able to keep the 1993 flood out with just over two feet (0.6 m) to spare.


August

Monument to the flood at Jones-Confluence Point State Park at the confluence of the Missouri River and Mississippi River in St. Charles County, Missouri. The flag says the water reached the top of the pole and was 438.2 feet (133.6 m). The confluence site is normally 400 feet (120 m) above sea level.

On August 1, levee breaks near Columbia, Illinois flooded 47,000 acres (190 km²) of land, inundating the towns of Valmeyer and Fults, Illinois. The released water continued to flow parallel to the river, approaching the levees protecting historic Prairie du Rocher and Fort de Chartres. On August 3, a decision was made to break through the stronger Mississippi River levee to allow the water back into the river. The plan worked and the historic areas were saved, although many residents of counties above Prarie du Rocher were flooded instead. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 556 pixels Full resolution (1400 × 973 pixel, file size: 430 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Monument to the Great Flood of 1993 at Jones-Confluence Point State Park at the confluence of the Missouri River and Mississippi River in St. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 556 pixels Full resolution (1400 × 973 pixel, file size: 430 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Monument to the Great Flood of 1993 at Jones-Confluence Point State Park at the confluence of the Missouri River and Mississippi River in St. ... Jones-Confluence Point State Park is a Missouri state park located on the north side of the Missouri River at its confluence with the Mississippi River across the Missouri from St. ... The Missouri River is a tributary of the Mississippi River in the United States. ... For the river in Canada, see Mississippi River (Ontario). ... St. ... is the 213th day of the year (214th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Columbia is a city located primarily in Monroe County, Illinois and partially in St. ... Valmeyer is a village in Monroe County, Illinois, United States. ... Fults is a village located in Monroe County, Illinois. ... Prairie du Rocher is a village in Randolph County, Illinois, United States. ... Fort de Chartres existed as a succession of three French fortifications built during the 1700s on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area of upper Louisiana known as the Illinois Country. ... is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On the Missouri River it was estimated that nearly all of the 700 privately built agricultural levees were overtopped or destroyed. Navigation on the Mississippi and Missouri River had been closed since early July resulting in a loss of $2 million (1993) per day in commerce.


The Mississippi River at St. Louis crested at 49.6 feet (15.1 m) on August 1, nearly 20 feet (6 m) [8] above flood stage and had a peak flow rate of 1,080,000 ft³/s (30,600 m³/s). At this rate, a bowl the size of Busch Memorial Stadium would be filled to the brim in 69 seconds. is the 213th day of the year (214th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Busch Memorial Stadium, or Busch Stadium was the home of the St. ...


Costs and damage

Some locations on the Mississippi River flooded for almost 200 days while locations on the Missouri neared 100 days of flooding. On the Mississippi, Grafton, Illinois, recorded flooding for 195 days, Clarksville, Missouri, for 187 days, Winfield, Missouri, for 183 days, Hannibal, Missouri, for 174 days, and Quincy, Illinois, for 152 days. The Missouri River was above flood stage for 62 days in Jefferson City, Missouri, 77 days at Hermann, Missouri; and for 94 days at St. Charles in the St. Louis metropolitan area. On October 7, 103 days after it began, the Mississippi River at St. Louis finally dropped below flood stage. Approximately 10,000 homes were destroyed as a result of the flooding, with 15 million acres (60,000 km²) of farmland inundated, and the whole towns of Valmeyer, Illinois and Rhineland, Missouri were relocated to higher ground.[1] The floods cost thirty two lives officially; however, a more likely target is suspected to be around fifty people, as well as an estimated 15-20 billion dollars in damages.[citation needed] Grafton is the oldest city in Jersey County, Illinois. ... Clarksville is a city located in Pike County, Missouri. ... Winfield is a city in Lincoln County, Missouri, United States. ... Hannibal is a riverfront city of 17,757 (2000 census), located in Marion and Ralls County, Missouri. ... : Gem City United States Illinois Adams 14. ... Nickname: Coordinates: , Country United States State Missouri Counties Cole and Callaway Government  - Mayor John Landwehr Area  - City  28. ... Hermann, the county seat of Gasconade County, Missouri, was incorporated in 1845. ... St. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Valmeyer is a village in Monroe County, Illinois, United States. ... Rhineland is a town located in Montgomery County, Missouri. ...


Comparison to other big floods

USGS exhibit showing flood levels at Westport Landing on the Missouri River in Kansas City. The flood heights on the exhibit from top to bottom are 1993, 1844 and 1951.
USGS exhibit showing flood levels at Westport Landing on the Missouri River in Kansas City. The flood heights on the exhibit from top to bottom are 1993, 1844 and 1951.

Channeling and levee construction have altered how the floods have hit various areas along the Missouri River. Here's a comparison of the three big floods since the early 1800s. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2075x1465, 520 KB) Kansas City flood levels in 1844, 1951 and 1991 as shown at Westport Landing on the Missouri River in Kansas City. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2075x1465, 520 KB) Kansas City flood levels in 1844, 1951 and 1991 as shown at Westport Landing on the Missouri River in Kansas City. ...

  • Great Flood of 1844 - This was the biggest flood of the three in terms of rate of discharge at Westport Landing in Kansas City. It is estimated that 625,000 cubic feet per second (17,700 m³/s) was discharged in the flood. However the crest on July 16, 1844, was almost a foot (0.3 m) lower than the 1993 flood.
  • Great Flood of 1951 - The 1951 flood was the second biggest in terms of rate of discharge at 573,000 ft³/s (16,200 m³/s). The 1951 crest on July 14, 1951, was almost two feet (0.6 m) lower than the 1844 flood and three feet (1 m) lower than 1993. However, the flood was the most devastating of all modern floods for Kansas City since its levee system was not built to withstand it. It destroyed the Kansas City Stockyards and caused Kansas City to build Kansas City International Airport away from the Missouri River bottoms to replace the heavily damaged Fairfax Airport in Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Great Flood of 1993 - The 1993 flood was the highest of any of the three but had the lowest discharge at 541,000 ft³/s (15,300 m³/s). While the 1993 flood had devastating impacts elsewhere, Kansas City survived it relatively well because of levee improvements after the 1951 flood.

The Great Flood of 1844 is the biggest flood ever recorded on the Missouri River and Upper Mississippi River in terms of discharge. ... is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Jan. ... Flooding in northeast Topeka, 1951 In mid-July 1951, heavy rains led to a great rise in the Kansas River and other surrounding areas. ... is the 195th day of the year (196th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Kansas City Stockyards in 1909 The Kansas City Stockyards in the West Bottoms west of downtown Kansas City, Missouri flourished from 1871 until closing in 1991. ... Airport diagram Airport from the east. ... Fairfax Airport from south. ... Nickname: Location in Wyandotte, County in the state of Kansas. ...

See also

Floods in the United States are generally caused by excessive rainfall, excessive snowmelt, and dam failure. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Larson, Lee W.. The Great USA Flood of 1993. National Weather Service.
  2. ^ (English)High Water: Building A Global Flood Atlas. NASA Earth Observatory. Retrieved on 2007-10-25.
  3. ^ "Milestones", Time Magazine, December 19, 1994. Retrieved on 2007-07-22. 
  4. ^ "Scapegoat", Illinois Times, January 19, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-08-27. 
  5. ^ a b Lott, Neal (1993, September 16). The Summer of 1993: Flooding in the Midwest and Drought in the Southeast, Technical Report 93-04. National Climatic Data Center, NOAA.
  6. ^ http://www.crh.noaa.gov/fsd/?n=20thcentury
  7. ^ Robert Goodrich. "Watching Over: Civil Air Patrol on Flood Duty", St. Louis Post Dispach, August 16, 1993. Retrieved on 2007-12-04. 
  8. ^ The Mississippi River Flood Of 1993. weather.com.
Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 353rd day of the year (354th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 203rd day of the year (204th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 239th day of the year (240th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 338th day of the year (339th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Great Flood of 1993: Information from Answers.com (1643 words)
The Great Flood of 1993 was a major flood that occurred in the American Midwest, along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and their tributaries, from April to October of 1993.
Great Flood of 1844 - This was the biggest flood of the three in terms of rate of discharge at Westport Landing in Kansas City.
Great Flood of 1951 - The 1951 flood was the second biggest in terms of rate of discharge at 573,000 ft³/s (16,200 m³/s).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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