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U.S. Floods of 1988

By C.A. Perry, B.N. Aldridge, and H.C. Ross of the USGS

Many areas throughout the United States were affected by drought conditions in 1988. There were few significant widespread floods. A few flash floods occurred during the summer months due to localized, intense rains from thunderstorms. Several flash floods occurred during the summer.

On April 1 and 2, southern Kansas received 3 to 7 in. of localized rain, which caused flash floods. New Orleans, Louisiana, received 7 to 9 in. of rain on April 1 and 2 . Severe flooding occurred, and $18 million in damages resulted. Albuquerque, New Mexico, had $3 million in damages as a result of flash flooding on July 5-9.

Tropical Storm Beryl hit Louisiana and Mississippi in early August. The storm brought as much as 15 in. of rain to coastal counties of Mississippi. Significant flooding occurred on the Biloxi River in Mississippi.

Hurricane Gilbert, the first category five hurricane to make landfall since 1969, struck Louisiana and Texas on September 15 through 19. The storm caused coastal floods in Louisiana and produced excessive rains across Texas and Oklahoma.

Source: USGS.



Fenwick Island, Maryland. Highly developed barrier beach at Ocean City. The dunes that once protected the island have been removed to improve the view, and the tall apartment buildings are so close to the water's edge that the beach is shadowed by mid-afternoon. Many of these buildings were damaged by flooding immediately after their construction.

Courtesy of USGS

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