Widespread flooding occurred in December 1982 and in spring 1983 in the central and southern Mississippi River basin. The first series of storms, December 2-7, caused severe flooding along many streams in Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas. Much of the three-State area experienced recordbreaking 24-hour rainfall amounts that caused some streams to exceed previously known flood heights and discharges; in many cases the recurrence interval of peak discharges exceeded 100 years. The second series of storms, December 24-29, caused severe flooding in Louisiana and moderate flooding in Mississippi. Peak discharges on some streams exceeded the 100-year recurrence interval. Damages exceeded $200 million and 25 persons died as a result of the December storms. Western Tennessee was on the fringes of both storms and received only minor flooding.
During April 4-8, 1983, as much as 17 inches of rain fell in parts of southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana. In some areas, 24-hour amounts exceeded 5 inches, causing peak discharges to exceed the recurrence interval of 100 years at 20 streamflow gaging stations.
In May 1983 heavy and intense rains caused major flooding in the Big Black River and Pearl River basins in Mississippi.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Floods of December 1982 to May 1983 in the central and southern Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico basins