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Flooding in Ohio

On this page you learn what types of flooding are typical in Ohio and how do you protect yourself, your family and your home. You will also find out more about significant Ohio floods. Finally, you'll find links to NWS offices that provide forecast and safety information for Ohio, as well as links to our partners who play a significant role in keeping you safe.

Flood Safety Home Page Turn Around Don't Drown Flood Safety Awareness Week Interactive Flood Map Types of flodding and associated risks NWS flood products forecasts and observations (AHPS) education and outreach partner agencies Flooding Navigation bar, hover for links Flood Safety Home Page Turn Around Don't Drown Interactive Flood Map Types of flodding and associated risks NWS flood products forecasts and observations (AHPS) flood safety education and outreach partner agencies National Water Center Flood Safety Home Page Turn Around Don't Drown Interactive Flood Map Types of flodding and associated risks NWS flood products forecasts and observations (AHPS) flood safety education and outreach partner agencies National Water Center Flood Safety Home Page Turn Around Don't Drown Flood Safety Awareness Week Interactive Flood Map Types of flodding and associated risks NWS flood products forecasts and observations (AHPS) education and outreach partner agencies Vine St. in Cincinnati looking toward the Ohio River. courtesy Ohio Historical Society. Flood Safety Home Page Turn Around Don't Drown Flood Safety Awareness Week Interactive Flood Map Types of flodding and associated risks NWS flood products forecasts and observations (AHPS) education and outreach partner agencies
 
Significant Ohio Floods
  • March 1913 Flood

    In late March of 1913, rain fell in such an excess over the Ohio Valley that no river in Ohio and most of Indiana remained in its banks. Bridges, roads, railways, dams, and property were washed away. In its wake, at least 600 lost their lives, nearly 500 of those in Ohio, a quarter million people were left homeless, and damages were estimated in the hundreds of millions, making it at that time one of the worst natural disasters the United States had witnessed.

    Near Loveland, Ohio, after the flood. Photo used with permission from Cincinnativiews.net

    Vine St. in Cincinnati looking toward the Ohio River. courtesy Ohio Historical Society.

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  • Xenia Flood of 1886

    The deadliest flash flood in Ohio history occurred in Xenia on May 12, 1886. A torrential rainstorm caused night time flash flooding along Shawnee Creek. A wall of water roared through Xenia, killing 28 people and destroying numerous homes and buildings. More than 300 residents were left homeless in the wake of the flood.

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  • Flood of 1959

    Heavy rain fell in mid-January with totals rainfall amounts ranging from 3 to 6 inches. At the time, the ground was frozen several inches deep and was also covered by snow. Rivers and streams reached flood stage across the state from January 21-24. Floodwaters forced thousands of people to leave their homes and 16 people lost their lives. Property damage in the larger Ohio cities was prolific.

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  • Shadyside Ohio Flooding 1990

    A deadly flash flood occurred in eastern Ohio near the town of Shadyside on the evening of June 14, 1990. Over 3 inches of rain fell along Pipe and Wegee Creeks in under 2 hours. There were 26 known deaths in Ohio during this event, of which 24 were along Pipe and Wegee Creeks with the remaining 2 along the Cumberland Run, about 8-10 miles west/northwest of Shadyside.

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  • Independence Day Flood of 1964

    Thunderstorms moved onshore from Lake Erie on the evening of July 4, 1969. Once they moved over land, they became stationary for several hours, with rainfall totals topping 10 inches in some locations. In addition to flooding, the storms produced damaging wind, tornadoes and prolific lightning. The storm resulted in 41 fatalities, more than 500 injuries, and damaged or destroyed more than 10,000 homes and businesses.

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Flood Hazard Information
  • Flash Flooding

    Flash flooding is a rapid and extreme flow of high water into a normally dry area, or a rapid water level rise in a stream or creek above a predetermined flood level, beginning within six hours of the causative event (i.e., intense rainfall, dam failure, ice jam). More information...

  • River Flooding

    River flooding occurs when river levels rise and overflow their banks or the edges of their main channel and inundate areas that are normally dry. More information...
  • Coastal Flooding

    At any time of year, a storm from over the ocean can bring heavy precipitation to the U.S. coasts. Whether such a storm is tropical or not, prolonged periods of heavy precipitation can cause flooding in coastal areas, as well as further inland as the storm moves on shore. More information...

  • Ice/Debris Jams

    A back-up of water into surrounding areas can occur when a river or stream is blocked by a build-up of ice or other debris. Debris Jam: A back-up of water into surrounding areas can occur when a river or stream is blocked by a build-up of debris. More information...
  • Snowmelt

    Flooding due to snowmelt most often occurs in the spring when rapidly warming temperatures quickly melt the snow. The water runs off the already saturated ground into nearby streams and rivers, causing them to rapidly rise and, in some cases, overflow their banks.More information...
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

    A break or failure can occur with little to no warning. Most often they are caused by water overtopping the structure, excessive seepage through the surrounding ground, or a structural failure. More information...
Protect Life and Property NWS Forecast Offices and River Forecast Centers (RFC) Covering Ohio
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