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Floods of November 1978 to March 1979 in Arizona and west-central New Mexico

Open-File Report 83-201

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Abstract

Widespread rainfall of 3 to 9 inches in the mountains area of Arizona and West-Central New Mexico during December 17-20, 1978, caused maximum known discharges on the Gila River in New Mexico and on several streams in Arizona. At Phoenix, the Salt River was the highest since 1920 but was only slightly higher than the flood in March 1978. The Agua Fria River was the highest since 1919. The floods caused 12 deaths and more than $150 million in damage. Damage of $51.8 million occurred in Maricopa County, Arizona. Ten counties in Arizona and three counties in New Mexico wer declared disaster areas. Unusually high volumes of runoff occurred on the Salt, Verde, and Agua Fria Rivers upstream from reservoirs. Overflow from the reservoir systems caused flooding downstream. Storage in the reservoirs on the Salt and Verde River reduced the peak discharge of the Salt River at Phoenix from a potential of about 234,000 cubic feet per second to 126,00 cubic feet per second and greatly reduced the duration of the flood. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Floods of November 1978 to March 1979 in Arizona and west-central New Mexico
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
83-201
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1983
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
170 p. ill., maps ;28 cm.