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.