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Floods in south-central Oklahoma and north-central Texas, October 1981

January 1, 1984

Heavy rains fell over south-central Oklahoma and north-central Texas during October 11-14, 1981, causing record flooding in both States. Six lives were lost, many people were temporarily left homeless, and damages amounted to nearly $115 million. The maximum rainfall of 23 inches occurred 5 miles north of Clyde, Texas, in about 34 hours.

Flood discharges along the East Fork Little Wichita River in Texas and along the Blue River, Clear Boggy Creek, and part of Muddy Boggy Creek in Oklahoma in the Red River basin exceeded those previously known. The Red River near Gainesville, Texas, had a record stage. Severe flooding also occurred along the West Fork and Elm Fork Trinity Rivers in Texas. The Brazos River experienced record flooding along tributaries in Abilene and Breckenridge, Texas, and the Brazos River near Glen Rose had a record stage that was almost 1.5 feet higher than any previous flood.

Substantial reductions in peak stages and discharges on the West Fork Trinity River downstream from Eagle Mountain Reservoir were attained as a result of reservoir storage. All floodwater on the Elm Fork Trinity River was contained by reservoir storage thus preventing a potentially devastating flood downstream on the Trinity River. Maximum stages and discharges and/or contents were recorded during and after this major flood at 83 gaging stations, crest-stage stations, reservoir stations, and a miscellaneous site.

Publication Year 1984
Title Floods in south-central Oklahoma and north-central Texas, October 1981
DOI 10.3133/ofr8465
Authors Harold D. Buckner, Joanne K. Kurklin
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 84-65
Index ID ofr8465
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Texas Water Science Center