East-central Alaska had record floods near Fairbanks following extensive rains of August 8-20, 1967. Precipitation during this period totaled as much as 10 inches, which is close to the average annual precipitation for this area.
The most extensive flooding occurred in the White Mountains northeast of Fairbanks and along the major streams draining those mountains. Some of the major streams flooded were the Salcha, Chena, Chatanika, Tolovana, and lower Tanana Rivers, and Birch Creek west of Circle.
Peak discharges on some streams in the flood area were from two to four times the probable 50-year flood. The peak discharge of 74,400 cubic feet per second of the Chena River at Fairbanks, from 1,980 square miles of drainage area, was 2.6 times the 50-year flood.
The rise of ground-water levels in the Tanana River flood plain to the land surface during the flood caused foundation failures and prevented drainage of subsurface structures. Above-normal ground-water levels existed until the middle of September.
Total flood damage was estimated in excess of $85 million. Six lives were reported lost, and about 12,000 persons were evacuated during the flood. This report has been prepared to furnish hydrologic data for development planning. Included are discussions of antecedent streamflow, meteorology of the storm, descriptions of floods, flood damage, flood frequency, ground-water conditions, and stages and discharges of major streams for August 1967.