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Ohio Water Science Center

Flood of June 22–24, 2006, in North-Central Ohio, With Emphasis on the Cuyahoga River Near Independence

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5161

By James M. Sherwood, Andrew D. Ebner, G.F. Koltun, and Brian M. Astifan


This report is available below as an 18-page PDF for viewing and printing.


Heavy rains caused severe flooding on June 22–24, 2006, and damaged approximately 4,580 homes and 48 businesses in Cuyahoga County. Damage estimates in Cuyahoga County for the two days of flooding exceed $47 million; statewide damage estimates exceed $150 million. Six counties (Cuyahoga, Erie, Huron, Lucas, Sandusky, and Stark) in northeast Ohio were declared Federal disaster areas. One death, in Lorain County, was attributed to the flooding.

The peak streamflow of 25,400 cubic feet per second and corresponding peak gage height of 23.29 feet were the highest recorded at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow-gaging station Cuyahoga River at Independence (04208000) since the gaging station began operation in 1922, exceeding the previous peak streamflow of 24,800 cubic feet per second that occurred on January 22, 1959. An indirect calculation of the peak streamflow was made by use of a step-backwater model because all roads leading to the gaging station were inundated during the flood and field crews could not reach the station to make a direct measurement. Because of a statistically significant and persistent positive trend in the annual-peak-streamflow time series for the Cuyahoga River at Independence, a method was developed and applied to detrend the annual-peak-streamflow time series prior to the traditional log-Pearson Type III flood-frequency analysis. Based on this analysis, the recurrence interval of the computed peak streamflow was estimated to be slightly less than 100 years. Peak-gage-height data, peak-streamflow data, and recurrence-interval estimates for the June 22–24, 2006, flood are tabulated for the Cuyahoga River at Independence and 10 other USGS gaging stations in north-central Ohio.

Because flooding along the Cuyahoga River near Independence and Valley View was particularly severe, a study was done to document the peak water-surface profile during the flood from approximately 2 miles downstream from the USGS streamflow-gaging station at Independence to approximately 2 miles upstream from the gaging station. High-water marks were identified and flagged in the field. Third-order-accuracy surveys were used to determine elevations of the high-water marks, and the data were tabulated and plotted.




Purpose and Scope

Meteorology Associated With the Flood

Antecedent Conditions

May 2006

June 2006

Storms of June 21–22, 2006

General Description of the Flood

Flood Gage Heights, Streamflows, Recurrence Intervals, and High-Water Elevations

Indirect Measurement of Streamflow for the Cuyahoga River Near Independence, Ohio

Flood-Frequency Characteristics of the Cuyahoga River Near Independence, Ohio



References Cited


1–4. Maps showing:
1. Locations of the 11 U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations for which peak-gage-height, peak-streamflow, and
    recurrence-interval data are presented.
2. Locations of high-water marks near the Cuyahoga River for the flood of June 22–24, 2006.
3. Regionally averaged monthly total precipitation and percentage of normal precipitation by National Weather Service Region,
    May and June 2006.
4. 48-hour rainfall totals for June 21–22, 2006, based on rainfall data from 35 rain gages operated by several agencies.
5. Gage-height hydrograph for the flood of June 22–24, 2006, on the Cuyahoga River near Independence, Ohio.
6. Streamflow hydrograph for the flood of June 22–24, 2006, on the Cuyahoga River near Independence, Ohio.
7. Flood profile showing elevations and distances of high-water marks from the mouth of the Cuyahoga River for the flood of
    June 22–24, 2006.
8. Flood profile showing selected high-water marks used for the HEC-RAS model calibration and the computed HEC-RAS model
    water surface for the flood of June 22–24, 2006.
9. Graphs showing observed and detrended annual peak streamflows for the Cuyahoga River at Independence, Ohio, plotted as a
    function of water year.


1. Peak gage heights and peak streamflows at selected USGS streamflow-gaging stations in northern Ohio, June 2006.
2. Elevations, locations, and descriptions of high-water marks for flood of June 22–24, 2006, at selected locations near the
    Cuyahoga River.
3. Flood-frequency characteristics of the Cuyahoga River at Independence, as determined from detrended annual-peak streamflow data.


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Whole report (2.40 MB) - 18 pages (8.5" by 11" paper)

Suggested Citation:

Sherwood, J.M., Ebner, A.E., Koltun, G.F., and Astifan, B.M., 2007, Flood of June 22–24, 2006, in north-central Ohio, with emphasis on the Cuyahoga River near Independence: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5161, 18 p.

For more information about USGS activities in Ohio, visit the USGS Ohio Water Science Center home page.

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