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Water-Supply Paper 2474 (Tennessee Section)

WSP 2474. Atkins, J.B., 1996, Floods of December 20-30, 1990, in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, in Jordan, P.R., and Combs, L.J., eds., Summary of floods in the United States during 1990 and 1991: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2474, p. 151-157.


Severe flooding occurred in north Alabama, northeast Mississippi, and south-central Tennessee as a result of excessive rainfall that fell December 20-23, 1990. Thunderstorms associated with a strong cold front produced rainfall amounts of 12 inches or more in some areas, as indicated in figure 52.

Maximum stages for periods of record ranging from 3 to 158 years in length were exceeded at 19 flood-determination sites, of which 12 sites were located in the Tennessee River Basin. Flood discharges equaled or exceeded the 100-year recurrence interval at 9 sites, the 50-year recurrence interval at 13 sites, and the 10-year recurrence interval at 37 sites.

Flash flooding resulted in deaths, injuries, and evacuations, and in damage to roads, bridges, homes, and businesses. Damage caused by the flooding in Alabama was estimated at $15 million (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1991, p. 19). In Mississippi, more than 500 homes and about 100 businesses were damaged or destroyed (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1991, p. 49, 55-56). Flooding in Tennessee was responsible for eight deaths and more than $8 million in damage (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1991, p. 84-86).

References (for abstract only)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration, 1991, Storm data and unusual weather phenomena with late reports and corrections, December 1990: Asheville, N.C., National Climatic Data Center, v. 32, no. 12, 101 p.

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