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Professional Paper 1798–C

Peak Streamflows and Runoff Volumes for the Central United States, February through September, 2011

By Robert R. Holmes, Jr., Gregg J. Wiche, Todd A. Koenig, and Steven K. Sando

Chapter C of
2011 Floods of the Central United States

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (24.1 MB)Abstract

During 2011, excessive precipitation resulted in widespread flooding in the Central United States with 33 fatalities and approximately $4.2 billion in damages reported in the Souris/Red River of the North (Souris/Red) and Mississippi River Basins. At different times, beginning in late February 2011 and extending through September 2011, various rivers in these basins had major flooding, with some locations receiving multiple rounds of flooding. Peak streamflow records were broken at 105 streamgages in the Souris/Red and Mississippi River Basins and annual runoff volume records set at 47 of the 211 streamgages analyzed for annual runoff. For the period of 1950 through 2011, the Ohio River provided almost one-half of the annual runoff at Vicksburg; the Missouri River contributed less than one-fourth, and the lower Mississippi River less than one-fourth. Those relative contribution patterns also occurred in 1973 and 2011, with the notable exception of the decrease in contribution of the lower Mississippi River tributaries and the increase in contribution from the upper Missouri River Basin in 2011 as compared to 1973 and the long-term average from 1950 to 2011.

First posted May 22, 2013

For additional information contact:
Chief, Office of Surface Water
U.S. Geological Survey
415 National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Holmes, R.R., Jr., Wiche, G.J., Koenig, T.A., and Sando, S.K., 2013, Peak streamflows and runoff volumes for the Central United States, February through September, 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1798–C, 60 p.,




Chronology of 2011 Flooding

Peak Streamflows and Stages

Runoff Volumes

Comparisons to Past Floods by Peak Streamflow and Runoff Volume


References Cited

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