Heavy rains over an extensive area on January 27-February 2, caused extreme flooding in southeastern Kentucky and adjacent areas in West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee. Total rainfall for the storm period ranged from 6-9 inches over most of the report area and was 12? inches at the eastern end of the Virginia-Kentucky State line.
The principal basins affected by the storm were those of the Big Sandy, Kentucky, Cumberland, and Tennessee Rivers.
Maximum discharge of record occurred in many streams. On Levisa Fork near Grundy, Va., the peak discharge of 33,200 cfs was 50 percent greater than the previous maximum in 17 years of record and was 3.3 times the mean annual flood. The peak discharges on-tributaries of the Kentucky River and on ,the Holston and Clinch Rivers were also the greatest of record and .those on the upper Cumberland River were nearly as great as .those during the historic floods of 1918 and 1946.
Total flood damage was estimated at $61 million of which $39 million was in the Big Sandy River basin (mostly in Kentucky) and $15 million was in the Kentucky River basin--$52 million of the total damage was in Kentucky.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Floods of January-February 1957 in southeastern Kentucky and adjacent areas