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. . . Ticker for June 15, 2010 . . .
June 15, 2010 June 15, 2010 June 15, 2010 June 15, 2010

Floods, Rain, ect.

Yesterday's rainfall total of 11.47 inches at the Oklahoma City North Mesonet
station ranks up there with the state's biggies as we look back through the
historical COOP and Mesonet data. Sixteenth highest one-day total, to be exact,
and the second-highest Mesonet total after Burneyville's 12.42 inches on April
29,2009. The Marietta COOP site had 12.82 inches during that event:

ENID 10/11/1973 15.68
CHEYENNE 4/4/1934 13.79
PURCELL 5/11/1950 13.58
EUFAULA 2 SW 10/31/1941 12.86
MARIETTA 4/30/2009 12.82
BURNEYVILLE 2SE MSNT 4/29/2009 12.42
STIGLER 1 SE 5/10/1943 12.32
HEE MOUNTAIN TOWER 10/31/1972 12.30
SEMINOLE 4/14/1945 12.20
MEEKER 6/3/1932 12.18
SEMINOLE 6/22/1948 12.00
EUFAULA 2 SW 5/11/1943 11.77
CHECOTAH 7/25/1960 11.70
WALTERS 5/28/1987 11.64
SULPHUR PLATT NL PK 10/8/1970 11.61
OKC NORTH MSNT 6/14/2010 11.47
BEAR MOUNTAIN TOWER 12/10/1971 11.34
GEARY 6/23/1948 11.25
PONCA CITY MUNI AP 11/20/1979 11.11

Now those were all single-day events. Obviously there are heavy rain events
that can span several days.

The flooding yesterday in Oklahoma City was very reminiscent of the Mother's
Day flood of May 8, 1993, right down to the television helicopters helping to
rescue people. Here's a look back at some of our more notable flood events
since before statehood:

Historical Oklahoma Floods

1900 September 9-10 ? Remnants of the hurricane that devastated Galveston moved
over the state, flooding a large part of eastern Indian Territory.

1906 September 16: Sudden flooding along the Cimarron River south of Dover
washes out the railroad bridge, resulting in the spectacular wreck of Rock
Island passenger train No. 12, from Ft. Worth to Chicago. The death toll, first
thought to be over 100, was scaled down dramatically.

?The engine, tender, baggage, mail cars, smoker and day coach of passenger No.
12 northbound, left the high bridge that spans the Cimarron river and plunged
into the current flanked by treacherous quicksands. The locomotive disappeared
from sight almost immediately. The mail and baggage clerks escaped from their
coaches and swam to the shore.? ? excerpt from The Daily Oklahoman, September
18, 1906.

The Oklahoma National Guard was called out to guard the river downstream to
watch for bodies that might wash up.

1920 October 21-30: Extensive flooding along North Canadian River ? levees
breached in Oklahoma City, flooding low-lying industrial and residential
sections. Hundreds of families were left homeless due to, at that time, the
worst flood in Oklahoma City history.

1921 April 4,5: Flash flooding reportedly washed out every roadway bridge in
Custer County, damaged every railway bridge, and caused $500,000 (1921 dollars)
in damage. The rain fell continuously from 8 p.m. on the 4th through 4 a.m. on
the 5th, dumping eight inches of rain on the area. The deluge flooded the
Washita River Valley near Clinton, killing hundreds of cattle and other

1923 October 13-16: Severe flooding along the North Canadian resulted in a
breach of Lake Overholser Dam and forced the evacuation of 15,000 residents in
Oklahoma City. This flood led to a radical redistribution of housing patterns
in the city as higher income families moved northward, away from the river. The
flood began in Woodward where the river crested over its banks and flooded the
business district there. Much of western Oklahoma reported ?semi-famine?
conditions after being cut off from outside contact. The surge of water rushing
toward Oklahoma City rose to 25 feet tall. This flood led to a radical
redistribution of housing patterns in the city as higher income families moved
northward, away from the river.

1927 April 6,7:Heavy rains produce greatest flooding along the Arkansas River
(below the mouth of the Neosho River) since 1833.The flood extended through the
19th inundating 165,000 acres with losses totaling $4M (in 1927 dollars).

1932 June 3: A flood on the North Canadian inundated Oklahoma City, leaving
eight dead and 3600 homeless. Property damage totaled $1.5 million (1932
dollars), including the destruction of 656 homes. The War Department was asked
to furnish 650 tents to set up a tent city at the Fair Grounds to house those
left homeless by the flood. Nearly seven inches of rain fell on the North
Canadian watershed west of Oklahoma City between 11 p.m. and noon on June 2-3.

1934 April 3-4: Over 14 inches of rain in 6 hours near Cheyenne sent a lethal
wall of water down the Washita. Just two inches fell near Hammon, but the surge
from upstream swept violently through the town after midnight and took entire
families ? with their homes ? to their deaths. Seventeen people were killed,
including all six children of the A.M. Adams home. Some victims were recovered
in neighboring Custer County, while others were never found.

1948 June 23-24: Eleven people died on Route 66 near Hydro after as much as 20
inches of rain led to major flash flooding along Little Deer Creek. Kingfisher
and Okmulgee also suffered major flash flooding with more than 500 and 2000
left homeless in those communities, respectively.

1957 May 16-21: A thirteen-inch downpour in Hennessey began nearly a week of
devastating floods on several of the major river systems in Oklahoma; the
Cimarron, Arkansas, Washita, and Canadian all overspilled their banks with $20
million in losses to agriculture alone. Lake Texoma emergency spillway opened
for first time to ease the flooding dangers in that area. All 2300 residents of
Bixby were ordered evacuated, by force if necessary, by the National Guard.
These floods marked the end of persistent drought that began in 1952. At least
nine people died due to the week-long flooding.

1973 October 11: A state record daily and 24 hour rainfall occurred in Enid on
this day, plunging much of the town under water. The bulk of the rain fell in
just three hours. Turkey Creek near Dover spilled over its banks due to the
rush of water downstream. Nine people died due to flash flooding in this event.

1983 October 17-23: Remnants of Hurricane Tico produce up to 10-15 inches of
rain, producing extensive flooding in central Oklahoma. Damages estimated at
$84M, including $77M to agriculture.

1984 May 26-27: Known simply as ?The Memorial Day Flood?, this disastrous
flood in Tulsa was triggered by over 12 inches of rain in just six hours. The
calamity left 14 dead and over $180 million in damages, including 5,500 homes
and over 7,000 vehicles. In reaction to this disaster, Tulsa launched a massive
flood prevention and warning system that remains among the most effective
public safety programs in the nation.

1986 September 30-October 4: Remnants of Hurricane Paine produced rains of
around 10 inches in western and central Oklahoma and as much as 20 inches in
north central Oklahoma, producing major flooding on the Arkansas River and its
tributaries. Flooding was reported in 52 counties with damages estimated at
$350M, half of that to agriculture. The Caney River overflowed its banks in
Bartlesville, leaving 9,000 people homeless and cutting the city in half. The
Caney River crested at a record 31 feet, with the normal flood state set at 13
feet. That flooding came after the Corps of Engineers was forced to release
water from the Hulah and Copan reservoir to prevent the lakes from spilling
over their dams.

1993 May 8: A slow-moving storm system stalled over central Oklahoma and
dumped more than seven inches of rain on Oklahoma City. Swollen creeks in
Oklahoma City claimed four lives. Flash flooding occurred in almost all areas
of the state, causing more than $130 million in damages to property and crops.
Other hard-hit areas included Guthrie, Kingfisher, Skiatook, and Tulsa.

2007 August 19: The remnants of Tropical Storm Erin, which made landfall three
days earlier on the Texas Gulf Coast, unexpectedly intensified during the
overnight hours of August 19th. Tropical Storm strength winds were observed for
several hours in west-central Oklahoma. In fact, the storm was stronger over
Oklahoma than at any time during its entire life cycle (including its marine
period). Extensive wind damage occurred west of Oklahoma City, and severe
flooding ravaged much of Oklahoma. More than nine inches of rain were observed
in areas near Watonga, Fort Cobb and Okmulgee. Seven flood-related deaths were
reported statewide.

Gary McManus
Associate State Climatologist
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
(405) 325-2253

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