What Was the Worst Flood In the Mississippi Valley and What Caused the Great Flood of 1993?

The most devastating flood in recent American history hit the upper and middle Mississippi Valley between late June and mid-August 1993.

Flood records were broken along the Mississippi River and most of its tributaries from Minnesota to Missouri.

The states worst hit were Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Missouri.

A wet fall and winter had caused the ground to be saturated by the time winter snow melt and spring rains began.

By June, rivers were already running at high levels throughout the region. A series of thunderstorms between June and August dumped even more water on the area.

At one point in St. Louis, the Mississippi River crested at almost 50 feet (15 m)-19 feet (5.8 m) above flood stage.

Altogether, more than 70,000 people in the region had to leave their homes.

The floodwaters killed 52 people, destroyed nearly 50,000 homes, and damaged 12,000 square miles (31,200 sq km) of farmland.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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