Which historic floods are included on Flood Factor?

Learn about the specific historic floods recreated by the First Street Foundation.

 

Recreating historic floods

Flood Factor uses data from the First Street Foundation, which has modeled 55 major river and storm surge floods in the U.S. from  2001 on, and is continually adding more. The floods are modeled simulations recreated and calibrated using recorded flood data and validated against open federal flood claim data. By recreating the observed impacts of these floods, scientists are able to identify where, and to what depth, flooding occurred.

 

How historic floods were chosen 

The floods recreated broadly fall into two categories: coastal and inland. Coastal floods refer to floods caused by the storm surge of tropical storms, hurricanes, and nor’easters. Inland floods refer to floods caused by overflowing rivers. Heavy rains are often associated with both types of flood events, but are not modeled in the floods shown on this tool directly.

Factors we consider

  1. Storm event database
    Both coastal and inland flood events were selected from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) storm event database, which contains archived National Weather Service (NWS) storm data
  2. Claims data
    Floods were then narrowed down to only include events that have National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Individual Assistance (IA) claims, which helps validate where and to what depth flooding occurred.
  3. Water levels
    Inland floods were further limited to events where rivers reached or exceeded their record-high water levels

 

Historic River Flooding Included in the Flood Model

Northeast 

  • September 2004 - river flood near Harrisburg, PA
  • September 2004 - river flood near Pittsburgh, PA
  • April 2011 - river flood near Albany, NY
  • August 2011 - river flood near Springfield, MA
  • September 2011 - river flood across central Pennsylvania

Southeast 

  • May 2011 - river flood near Newport, AR
  • October 2016 - river flood near Rocky Mount, NC
  • March 2019 - river flood near Rocky Mount, NC
  • river flood near Shepherdstown, WV
  • river flood near Stanton, KY

Southwest 

  • June 2007 - river flood near Tulsa, OK
  • July 2008 - river flood near Ruidoso, NM
  • May 2015 - river flood near Dallas, TX
  • March 2016 - river flood near Beaumont, TX

Midwest 

  • April 2001 - river flood near Minneapolis, MN
  • April 2001 - river flood near Winona, MN
  • April 2001 - river flood near Camanche, IA
  • June 2008 - river flood across eastern Iowa
  • June 2008 - river flood near Wisconsin Dells, WI
  • June 2008 - river flood near Des Moines, IA
  • July 2008 - river flood near Ames, IA
  • June 2011 - river flood near Bismark, ND
  • June 2011 - river flood near Towner, ND
  • April 2013 - river flood near Peoria, IL
  • June 2014 - river flood near Sioux City, SD
  • December 2015 - river flood near Eureka, MO
  • March 2019 - river flood near Yankton, SD
  • river flood near Grand Rapids, MI
  • river flood near Columbus, IN
  • river flood near Lansing, MI
  • river flood near Piketon, OH
  • river flood near Zanesville, OH
  • river flood near Toledo, OH

West 

  • January  2005 - river flood near Mesquite, NV
  • September 2013 - river flood near Fort Morgan, CO
  • September 2013 - river flood near Boulder, CO

 

Historic Hurricanes and Nor’easters included in the Flood Model

Hurricanes & Nor’easters

  • June 2001 - Tropical Storm Allison
  • September 2002 - Hurricane Isidore
  • February 2003 - Nor'easter 
  • September 2003 - Hurricane Isabel
  • August 2004 - Hurricane Charley
  • September 2004 - Hurricane Jeanne 
  • August 2005 - Hurricane Katrina
  • October 2005 - Hurricane Wilma
  • August 2008 - Hurricane Gustav
  • September 2008 - Hurricane Ike
  • November 2009 - Nor'easter 
  • March 2010 - Nor'easter 
  • August 2011 - Hurricane Irene
  • August 2012 - Hurricane Isaac
  • October 2012 - Hurricane Sandy
  • August 2016 - Hurricane Hermine
  • September 2016 - Hurricane Matthew
  • September 2017 - Hurricane Irma
  • October 2018 -Hurricane Michael

 

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Path of Hurricane Katrina -  August 2005

unnamed.jpg           Nor'easter - March 2010

unnamed__2_.png         Hurricane Isabel - September 2003

unnamed__1_.jpg      Tropical Storm Allison - June 2001

 

unnamed__3_.png        Hurricane Sandy - October 2012

 

unnamed__4_.png      Aftermath of Hurricane Michael - October 2018

unnamed__5_.pngAftermath of Hurricane Gustav - August 2008 

 

Learn more

Historic Flood Methodology 

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About sea level rise

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