A large snowstorm at the end of December 2004 that left more than 20 inches of snow in some areas of Ohio, followed by unseasonably warm temperatures in early January 2005, caused snowmelt to begin filling river channels. Widespread rain showers during January 2005 combined with this snowmelt to cause flooding throughout Ohio and mudslides in some areas. Record peak streamflows occurred at nine U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgages. Damages caused by the snowstorms, flooding, and mudslides were severe enough for 62 counties in Ohio to be declared Federal disaster areas. In all, approximately 3,664 private structures were damaged or destroyed, and an estimated $238 million in damages occurred.
This report describes the meteorological factors that resulted in severe flooding throughout Ohio between December 22, 2004, and February 1, 2005, and examines the damages caused by the storms and flooding. Peak-stage, peak-streamflow, and recurrence-interval data are reported for selected USGS streamgages. Flood profiles determined by the USGS are presented for selected streams.