Summary of floods in the United States during 1961

Water Supply Paper 1810
Prepared in cooperation with Federal, State, and local agencies



This report describes the most outstanding floods in the United States during 1961. The most damaging floods during the year were those caused by snowmelt in March and April in the upper Mississippi River basin and those accompanying Hurricane Carla in September.

Hurricane Carla traveled northward along the east edge of Texas and then northeastward through southeastern Oklahoma, northwestern Arkansas, southeastern Missouri, and central Illinois. Heavy rains and floods occurred east of the hurricane's path in Texas and west of its path for the remainder of its journey.

Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia had moderate to severe floods in February and March from a series of large-area rainstorms. Many maximum peak discharges occurred, and streams remained at high stages for periods longer than any known before. Property damage was high and four lives were lost.

Extensive flooding took place in May from southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma through northern Arkansas, southern Missouri, northern Kentucky, and the southern parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Maximum discharges occurred at many sites throughout the area.

Heavy flooding was experienced on Kootenai River at Bonners Ferry, Idaho, in May and June. These floods were noteworthy for their duration.

The most tragic flood of the year was in July in Charleston, W. Va. A small area cloudburst flood caused 22 deaths and damage of more than \$1 million.

Severe flooding occurred in December in the Tombigbee River, Pearl River, and Pascagoula River basins in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. Much damage resulted, and from two to three thousand persons were evacuated from large flooded areas.

In addition to the floods mentioned above, 19 others of lesser magnitude are considered important enough to be included in this annual summary.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Summary of floods in the United States during 1961
Series title Water Supply Paper
Series number 1810
DOI 10.3133/wsp1810
Year Published 1965
Language English
Publisher U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Utah Water Science Center
Description vi, 123 p.
Country United States
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details