Floods in 1969


USGS Report
1969 Floods (USGS)
The most outstanding floods in the United States during 1969 are dscribed in chronological order. The areas most seriously affected by flooding were: Central and southern California (January and February) ; the upper Midwestern States of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois (April) ; north-central Ohio (July) ; Mississippi, Alabama, and Virginia (Hurricane Camille in August) ; and Florida and Georgia (September).
Jan-Feb 1969 California
The damage from these storms was a statewide event, with 35 of 58 California counties being declared federal disaster areas. The lowlands of Southern California had 20-30 inches of rain and the mountains had 50-60 inches.

Severe floods in central and southern California were caused by three storms during January and February. At least 60 lives were lost. Homes and property were destroyed or damaged, by rainstorms, floods, and muflows. Many floods approached or exceeded the maximum known. The severe flood damage was due partly to recent home construction in floodprone areas.

Five people were killed and 17 injured in the Silverado Canyon mudslide, the worst of many throughout Southern California. For a solid month, an average of 7 inches of rain had fallen each day, swelling creeks and flooding streets throughout the region.
March Mid-Atlantic flooding
A low pressure system in its latter stages of its cyclonic life is over top of southern Indiana will later get collided with another low that is over southern Missouri to extend its lifespan. On March 25, 1969 the storm would be over top of Detroit, bringing torrential downpours to Pennsylvania, Northern New Jersey, and New York City. The area of northern New Jersey would have rainfall ranging from as low as 5.2 inches (Lodi, NJ) to as high as 9.7 inches (Mahwah, NJ)
April 1969 snow melt floods
The April floods in the upper Midwestern States of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois were expected because of a large accumulation of snow containing as much as 8 inches of water. Flood-protection procedures, together with cool temperatures, had a mitigaing effect on the flood. The floods were the largest since the late 1800's, and their recurrence intervals exceeded 50 years at many of the gaged sites. Estimates of flood damage were about $147 million. More than a million acres of rich agricultural land were inundated, thousands of culverts and bridges were washed out, 23,000 people were forced from their homes and 11 lives were lost in the six-State flood area.

April 1969 is the Sioux Falls flood of record
Ohio July floods
The disastrous floods of July 4-8, 1969, in north-central Ohio were caused by the most intense and widespread summer storm recorded in Ohio, A line of thunderstorms, accompanied by wind gusts up to 100 miles per hour, moved into Ohio from Lake Erie in the evening of July 4 while tnousands of people were gathered along the lake shore to observe fireworks displays. Although there were several hundred small boats on the lake, only three people were drowned as a consequence of capsized boats which had been upset by the wind squalls. Altogether 41 deaths were attributed to the storm and resulting floods. The largest loss of life was due to rapidly rising streams following torrential rains during the night of July 4-5.

The rains subsided on the 5th of July and mounts up to 14.8 inches were reported to have fallen in less than 24 hours, with the larger part falling during the 12 hours from 7 p,m, on the 4th to 7 a.m. on the 5th of July. Although rainfalls of 14 inches in 24 hours are unusual in Ohio, a more outstanding feature of the storm was the wide extent of heavy rainfall. An area of about 6,000 square miles in north-central Ohio received in excess of 4 inches of rainfall, and some small areas received as much as 14 inches of rainfall
Hurricane Camille:
Hurricane Camille was the most intense hurricane on record to enter the United States mainland. It struck the Mississippi-Alabama coast on August 18, with tidal waves as high as 25 feet above mean sea level and wind velocities more than 190 miles per hour. Tidal wave and flood damage was about $1.3 billion. In Mississippi the known dead totaled 139 and 76 other persons were missing. The hurricane intensity decreased as it moved inland until it merged with severe rainstorms over the Appalachian mountains.

The intensified hurricane then caused record-breaking floods of streams in a 50-mile-wide area as it moved eastward from Sulphur Springs, W. Va., to Fredericksburg, Va. Total flood damage in Virginia exceeded $116 million. There were 113 known deaths, 102 injuries, and 39 people missing.

The remnants of Hurricane Camille moved eastward into Virginia on the evening of August 19 and reintensified as it entered an area of abundant moisture. The storm dropped torrential rainfall of 12 inches to 20 inches, with a maximum of 27 inches in Nelson County, VA.
Hurricane Gerda
Hurricane Gerda Sept 1969 hit Eastport Maine as category 1, one of the strongest ever to hit Maine 5.67 inches of rain in S. Wellfleet, MA
Tropical Storm NW FLorida
A tropical storm that was nearly stationary over northwest Florida for about 48 hours, September 20-23 produced record rains and floods. Near Quincy, Fla., the total rainfall for the period exceeded 20 inches. On Little River near Quincy, the peak discharge was nearly twice the previous maxmum of record and was three times that of a 50-year flood. Flood damage to agricultural lands, bridges, culverts, and roads was about $1.7 million


North African flood disaster Sept 1969
Same type of cut-off Omega block as Sept 2023 spawning a Medicane

600 people killed, 1/4 million homeless. Bridges that had survived every flood since they were built during Roman Empire were destroyed. Winds in Malta destroyed a 20,000 ton tanker. 123 mm of rain fell in Malta which records no rain in 25% of Septembers.

Biskra Algeria had a storm total of 299.2 mm versus Sept average of 17 mm and annual average of 148 mm
Although the 24 hour and storm total amounts were less than Sept 2023, the deviations from average were similar in 1969 and 2023.
Singapore floods of 1969:
The 1969 floods on 10 December, Hari Raya Puasa, wreaked havoc throughout the island and were considered Singapore's worst floods in 35 years. That day, heavy rain caused flooding in many parts of Singapore, with flood waters reaching waist high in some areas. Helicopters were used to evacuate people trapped in trees and on the roofs of their homes. Road and rail links with Malaysia were also cut off. Flights were delayed and telephone and electricity networks were disrupted.
South Korea
Antalya Turkey got 331.5 mm of rain on Jan 17th, 1969 and 166 mm on the 18th, part of 797.8 for the month. November had 585 mm. Average for January is about 230 mm.