Counties That Have Suffered the Deadliest Floods
Counties That Have Suffered the Deadliest Floods

by Tessa Boyce

Using data from NOAA, WeatherDB found the 10 counties where floods are the deadliest.

In the U.S., floods cause over $3 billion worth of damage annually.

An intense flood has the capability to destroy buildings, drown crops and even cause multiple fatalities. According to FEMA, just two feet of moving water can carry away a vehicle, and many deaths caused by floods occur when people remain in their vehicle during a flood.

WeatherDB, a weather data site by Graphiq, found the 10 U.S. counties that experienced the deadliest floods over the last 20 years (January 1996 to March 2016). Using data from NOAA's Severe Weather Data Inventory, the total number of deaths, injuries, floods and floods that caused a fatality were determined for each county in which a flood occurred. These 10 counties are ranked based on the number of fatalities caused by floods in the last 20 years. If those figures were the same, the order was listed by total number of injuries. If injuries were also equal, the number of floods was the tiebreaker.

Not surprisingly, Eastern states that receive heavy amounts of precipitation, such as New York and Arkansas, also experience dangerous flooding. However, drier states where flash floods occur are at a much greater risk. In fact, some of the driest areas, including San Bernardino, Tucson and St. George, Utah, experience the most life-threatening floods. These areas are less equipped to handle a flood as flash floods happen so unexpectedly that people do not have time to react. Regardless, in the event of a flood, leave your vehicle (ideally quicker than this person) and escape to dry ground.

 

10. Delaware County, New York

Total Deaths: 15
Total Injuries: 3
Major City: Sidney
Number of Floods: 91
Number of Deadly Floods: 5

 

9. San Bernardino County, California

Total Deaths: 15
Total Injuries: 52
Major City: San Bernardino
Number of Floods: 555
Number of Deadly Floods: 12

 

8. Pima County, Arizona

Total Deaths: 16
Total Injuries: 6
Major City: Tucson
Number of Floods: 362
Number of Deadly Floods: 13

 

7. Oklahoma County, Oklahoma

Total Deaths: 16
Total Injuries: 138
Major City: Oklahoma City
Number of Floods: 98
Number of Deadly Floods: 6

 

6. Coconino County, Arizona

Total Deaths: 19
Total Injuries: 12
Major City: Flagstaff
Number of Floods: 162
Number of Deadly Floods: 5

 

5. Montgomery County, Arkansas

Total Deaths: 20
Total Injuries: 27
Major City: Mount Ida
Number of Floods: 36
Number of Deadly Floods: 1

 

4. Travis County, Texas

Total Deaths: 20
Total Injuries: 171
Major City: Austin
Number of Floods: 185
Number of Deadly Floods: 15

 

3. Harris County, Texas

Total Deaths: 25
Total Injuries: 3
Major City: Houston
Number of Floods: 129
Number of Deadly Floods: 11

 

2. Washington County, Utah

Total Deaths: 26
Total Injuries: 25
Major City: St. George
Number of Floods: 178
Number of Deadly Floods: 7

 

1. Bexar County, Texas

Total Deaths: 28
Total Injuries: 852
Major City: San Antonio
Number of Floods: 257
Number of Deadly Floods: 13

 

Flood Danger in the U.S.

Research Flood Danger in Your County on WeatherDB

 

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