Summary of floods in the United States during 1963

Water Supply Paper 1830-B

Prepared in cooperation with Federal, State, and local agencies



This report describes the most outstanding floods in the United States during 1963. The three most destructive floods occurred in March from Alabama to West Virginia and Ohio, in June in Nebraska, and in August in Buffalo, N.Y.

Widespread disastrous floods struck the western slopes of the Appalachian Mountains from Alabama to West Virginia and Ohio as a result of three storms moving over the area during March 4-19. Precipitation during the first storm period, March 4-6, caused some major stream overflows and produced conditions favorable for high runoff from subsequent rainfall. Heavy rainfall on March 11-13 produced record-breaking floods on many streams in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. Noteworthy floods occurred in the bordering States of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio. The third storm on If arch 16-19 was .significant because it prolonged the period of flooding and produced high-volume runoff in some areas. Twenty-six lives were lost, and more than 30,000 persons were forced from their homes. Damage to highways, railroads municipal and private property amounted to approximately \$98 million.

Floods of June 24 in small basins in east-central Nebraska were the most severe known in the area. Discharges in many streams greatly exceeded the 50-year flood. Twenty-five cities and villages and more than 600 families suffered property loss. Three lives were lost. Property loss was about \$13 million.

On July 29 the most severe rainstorm in 18 years occurred in western New York. On August 7, rains of near-record magnitude again fell over western New York, and record intensities were recorded in Buffalo for 1-, 2-, and 6-hour storms. The resulting floods on Scajaquada Creek were the highest recorded in a short period of record, and flood damage in Buffalo was estimated at \$35 million.

In addition to the three floods mentioned above, 21 others of lesser magnitude are considered important enough to be included in this annual summary.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Summary of floods in the United States during 1963
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
Utah Water Science Center
vi, 120 p.
United States