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OHIO RIVER AT CINCINNATI

FLOOD STATISTICS

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
GREAT LAKES AND OHIO RIVER DIVISION
CINCINNATI, OHIO 45202


FLOOD CRESTS (OR HIGHEST ANNUAL STAGES)
AND LOWEST ANNUAL STAGES
OF THE OHIO RIVER AT CINCINNATI, OHIO

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Water Management Team, Cincinnati, Ohio.


This tabulation represents a continuous record since June 1, 1858 of Flood Crests or highest annual and lowest annual stages of the Ohio River at Cincinnati. These readings are based on observations taken at the following locations:

Location of gage From To Gage Zero above M.S.L.
Old Water Works June 1, 1858 Oct. 7, 1908 430.06 O.R.D.
Foot of Broadway Oct. 8, 1908 Dec. 31, 1934 429.763 O.R.D.
West End Power Plant Jan. 1, 1935 Dec. 31, 1946 428.80 O.R.D.
Suspension Bridge Jan. 1, 1947 present 429.613 O.R.D.
*(O.R.D. - Ohio River Datum)

Flood Stage at Cincinnati: 1873 to 1898 45 ft.
1899 to March 31, 1922 50 ft.
April 1, 1922 to present 52 ft.

Sources of information used in compiling this continuous record:
1. Stages of Mississippi River Above Cairo. Mississippi River Commission 2d ed. 1891. Cincinnati Stages June 1, 1858 to Dec. 31, 1886.
2. U.S. Weather Bureau, Daily River Stages. Cincinnati Stages Nov. 1, 1874 to present. (*Note: For the period Nov. 1, 1874 to Dec. 31, 1889 the records were under the Army Signal Corps.)

The following crest-stage information has not been documented nor tied in with any specific gage. It is only given to offer some idea of floods prior to 1858. This crest-stage information was taken from old records on file in the Ohio River Forecast Center of the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.

Date
1773
1774
1786
1789
1792
1793

Crest-Stage (in ft)
76.0
65.0
59.0
62.0
63.0
57.0

Date
1815 March-April
1828
1832 February 18
1847 December 17
1852 April 2

Crest-Stage (in ft)
62.0
58.0
64.2
63.6
54.0

FLOOD CRESTS/HIGHEST ANNUAL STAGES

Year Date Feet & tenths
1858 June 16 43.7
1859 February 22 55.4
1860 April 17 49.1
1861 April 20 49.4
1862 January 24 57.3
1863 March 12 42.8
1864 December 23 45.1
1865 March 7 56.2
1866 September 26 41.2
1867 March 15 55.7
1868 March 30 48.2
1869 April 2 48.8
1870 January 19 55.2
1871 May 13 40.5
1872 April 13 41.8
1873 December 18 44.4
1874 January 11 47.9
1875 August 6 55.4
1876 January 29 51.8
1877 January 20 53.8
1878 December 15 41.2
1879 December 27 42.3
1880 February 17 53.2
1881 February 16 50.8
1882 February 21 58.6
1883 February 15 66.3
1884 February 14 71.1
1885 January 20 46.0
1886 April 9 55.8
1887 February 6 56.3
1888 April 1 39.9
1889 February 22 38.3
1890 March 1 56.9
1891 February 25 57.4
1892 April 26 43.8
1893 February 20 54.9
1894 February 15 35.6
1895 January 14 48.4
1896 April 4 47.7
1897 February 26 61.2
1898 March 29 61.4
1899 March 8 57.4
1900 December 1 40.0
1901 April 27 59.7
1902 March 5 50.9
1903 March 5 53.2
1904 March 9 45.9
1905 March 13 48.3
1906 April 2 50.4
1907 January 21 65.2
1908 April 4 55.9
1909 February 28 54.6
1910 March 7 51.8
1911 February 3 49.1
1912 March 27 53.4
1913 April 1 69.9
1914 April 4 47.2
1915 February 7 55.9
1916 April 1 53.5
1917 March 17 56.1
1918 February 12 61.8
1919 January 6 52.0
1920 March 22 54.6
1921 December 27 56.1
1922 March 18 52.2
1923 February 5 47.6
1924 January 6 55.8
1925 February 18 42.3
1926 January 25 46.3
1927 January 27 59.1
1928 July 2 43.8
1929 March 4 52.7
1930 January 15 41.0
1931 April 8 44.1
1932 February 7 50.4
1933 March 21 63.6
1934 March 9 46.6
1935 March 16 52.4
1936 March 28 60.6
1937 January 26 80.0
1938 April 13 44.2
1939 February 7 58.3
1940 April 25 60.0
1941 June 9 35.5
1942 December 31 50.4
1943 January 4 60.8
1944 April 16 48.6
1945 March 7 69.2
1946 January 12 47.3
1947 January 24 41.0
1948 April 18 64.8
1949 January 30 52.6
1950 February 5 59.0
1951 January 19 49.0
1952 February 2 59.9
1953 March 7 36.3
1954 October 21 38.5
1955 March 10 61.0
1956 March 18 53.2
1957 April 11 52.3
1958 May 10 58.0
1959 January 26 55.5
1960 April 8 45.8
1961 May 9 55.4
1962 March 3 61.3
1963 March 10 59.4
1964 March 11 66.2


1966 February 18 53.0
1967 March 11 59.8
1968 May 30 56.8
1969 February 4 40.7
1970 April 5 50.3
1971 February 23 47.4
1972 December 13 53.6
1973 May 1 49.2
1974 January 14 53.1
1975 February 28 48.3
1976 February 22 48.8
1977 April 8 50.9
1978 December 12 58.4
1979 March 1 58.6
1980 March 22 43.9
1981 June 10 47.3
1982 March 20 48.2
1983 May 6 51.8
1984 April 25 47.4
1985 December 2 52.5
1986 February 9 49.7
1987 April 11 49.3
1988 February 6 44.8
1989 February 18 52.2
1990 December 31 50.7
1991 January 3 57.0
1992 March 22 42.9
1993 March 8 51.5
1994 January 31 54.6
1995 May 21 50.7
1996 January 25 57.3
1997 March 6 64.7
1998 January 12 49.18
1999 January 27 45.69
2000 February 22 54.50
2001 February 19 41.93
2002 March 23 40.34
2003 February 26 50.69
2004 January 8 53.37
2005 January 11 56.86
2006 January 25 43.06
2007 March 20 48.16
2008 March 20 51.89

LOWEST ANNUAL STAGES

Year Date Feet & tenths

1858 *September 28 2.4
1859 September 12 4.0
1860 *September 29 5.7
1861 *July 3 5.2
1862 *October 8 2.3
1863 *October 6 2.5
1864 August 6 3.1
1865 October 19 5.7
1866 *August 17 4.8
1867 *October 19 3.0
1868 July 28 5.1
1869 *August 27 5.3
1870 October 5 3.8
1871 *October 11 2.7
1872 October 14 3.0
1873 October 12 3.7
1874 September 22 2.3
1875 September 18 4.1
1876 September 4 6.2
1877 *October 7 3.4
1878 October 22 4.3
1879 October 23 2.4
1880 *October 28 3.8
1881 *September 17 1.9
1882 November 1 6.0
1883 *September 20 3.6
1884 September 26 2.5
1885 *October 11 3.9
1886 November 2 3.0
1887 *September 17 2.8
1888 August 7 5.5
1889 September 13 5.3
1890 *August 4 5.8
1891 *October 10 4.5
1892 *November 5 3.5
1893 *August 29 3.6
1894 *September 14 3.1
1895 *October 27 2.3
1896 September 25 5.5
1897 October 26 3.0
1898 October 6 4.5
1899 November 2 3.4
1900 October 21 3.1
1901 *November 11 4.2
1902 *September 24 3.9
1903 *October 7 4.5
1904 *October 6 3.3
1905 October 11 6.5
1906 September 22 7.1
1907 October 31 7.0
1908 *October 6 2.8
1909 October 15 3.6
1910 *August 28 4.0
1911 July 25 4.6
1912 June 18 6.7
1913 #June 27 7.5
1914 *June 4 8.2
1915 December 12 9.0
1916 #October 31 7.8
1917 #June 25 9.3
1918 June 19 6.6
1919 #June 11 9.6
1920 *#October 25 8.0
1921 June 11 6.1
1922 August 31 6.5
1923 #October 22 6.8
1924 July 22 6.0
1925 December 25 8.2
1926 May 28 6.4
1927 October 30 5.3
1928 March 9 11.0
1929 October 12 10.0
1930 May 9 9.5
1931 #February 27 9.7
1932 #September 19 11.4
1933 *#July 15 11.5
1934 February 16 7.8
1935 #October 21 8.4
1936 #June 20 12.0
1937 #July 24 12.1
1938 #November 9 12.2
1939 December 26 12.1
1940 February 1 10.6
1941 #October 7 12.3
1942 #April 27 11.0
1943 #June 22 11.6
1944 #January 11 12.1
1945 #September 3 12.2
1946 #October 2 11.8
1947 #September 22 10.8
1948 *#January 21 11.3
1949 #October 28 11.1
1950 *#August 25 11.8
1951 #August 28 11.2
1952 #December 19 10.3
1953 #September 3 11.4
1954 #February 4 10.0
1955 *#August 6 11.5
1956 *#January 28 11.8
1957 *#August 13 11.3
1958 #October 30 11.8
1959 #September 11 11.2
1960 *#September 3 11.3
1961 February 9 10.2
1962 September 30 11.0
1963 January 31 24.2
1964 August 17 25.9



Note: Effective 1/1/1963, the normal pool stage at Cincinnati was raised to 25.4 feet upon the activation of Markland Locks and Dam.

1965 July 30 24.9
1966 *January 28 25.7
1967 May 29-31 14.7**
1968 July 13 25.6
1969 August 14 25.4
1970 August 15 25.8
1971 October 23 25.2
1972 August 13 25.6


1977 June 2 25.4
1978 November 6 25.6


1985 October 31 25.6

1987 July 21 25.3
1988 July 2 25.9

 

2005 July 12 26.00

2006 August 12 26.17

2007 September 9 25.76

2008 September 16 26.13

 

**Seven of fourteen barges which broke loose above Markland Dam lodged against the dam and prevented closing of some of the gates.

#Pool stage
*Other dates also

15 WORST FLOODS IN CINCINNATI
1. January 26, 1937 80.0
2. February 14, 1884 71.1
3. April 1, 1913 69.9
4. March 7, 1945 69.2
5. February 15, 1883 66.3
6. March 11, 1964 66.2
7. January 21, 1907 65.2
8. April 18, 1948 64.8
9. March 6, 1997 64.7
10. March 21, 1933 63.6
11. February 12, 1918 61.8
12. March 29, 1898 61.4
13. March 3, 1962 61.3
14. February 26, 1897 61.2
15. March 10, 1955 61.0

 

 

Page last updated: 27 May 2009