• South State Street in Iola during the 2007 flood.

Signficant flood events in Kansas

The Iola Register

 1844 — The Great Flood of 1844 is the biggest flood ever recorded on the Missouri River and Upper Mississippi River in terms of discharge. The flood was widespread since the region had little to no levees at the time, causing the waters to spread far from their normal banks. The Wyandotte Indians — a group that formed from the war and disease from the Huron Confederacy and Petun Indian tribes — lost 100 people due to diseases after the flood occured in the vicinity of what is now Kansas City, Kansas. 

— 1903 - This flood affected the Missouri, Kansas and lower Republican River Basins. A total of 57 people died in the flood, 38 of those were in Topeka. 4,000 people were forced from their homes.

— 1951 - The Kansas, Marais Des Cygnes, Neosho and River Basins flooded. 19 people were killed and 1,100 people were injured in Kansas and Missouri. The most damage occurred along the Kansas River where the cities of Manhattan, Topeka, Lawrence, and Kansas City saw extensive damage. A total of 45,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Estimates for total damages was $760 million (over $5 billion by today’s standards).

— 1993 - Flooding was widespread and impacted nine states, with Kansas being one of the hardest hit. Kansas residents suffered losses of homes, businesses and farmland. Damage to crop land in Kansas was estimated at $400 million while damage to roads and buildings was estimated at more than $47 million. Rivers affected were Big Blue, Smoky Hill, Kansas and Marais Des Cygnes.

— 1998 - The Halloween Flood of 1998 affected the eastern one-half of Kansas as rains of more than six inches fell over a 20-county area. Some areas received more than a foot of rain over two days. Major flooding occurred in Wichita along Cowskin Creek and in parts of Augusta in Butler County. The flood resulted in $37.8 million in damage, one death and 5,300 people were evacuated.

— 2007 - Floods between May and July caused significant damage in more than 20 counties. One death occurred and 3,300 structures were damaged. The flooding during May affected basins from central into parts of eastern Kansas. In July, major flooding affected southeast portions of the state. In Coffeyville, an oil refinery was inundated by floodwaters from the Verdigris River, causing an oil spill. 

The Iola Register

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