Floods



This page contains information about all severe weather events that were dominated by flooding.

The information currently starts at 1959, but earlier years will eventually be added.

**Last Updated: 12/24/2019.

2010-2019 Events
July 6, 2019: Slow-moving storms trained across portions of the area, dropping 1″ to more than 3″ of rain, causing flash flooding in several locations, particularly in Pickaway and Licking counties. See details here: https://www.weather.gov/iln/20190706
July 3, 2019: Slow-moving storms dumped 1-3″ of rain across the metro area, causing widespread flooding issues. See details here: https://www.weather.gov/iln/20190703
June 15-16, 2019: Multiple waves of storms moved across the area from the 15th into the 16th, bringing 1-3″ of heavy rain to the entire metro area. This caused localized street and creek flooding. See details here: https://www.weather.gov/iln/20190615
February 7, 2018: Heavy rains in Pickaway and Fairfield counties caused widespread flooding of many roads and low-lying areas.

2000-2009 Events

1990-1999 Events
May 1-May 18, 1996
Persistent heavy rainfall kept the Scioto river in flood stage for most of the month. Agricultural areas and low lying county roads close to the river were flooded. Also, the high water levels caused backwater flooding where the Ohio Brush and Darby creeks meet the Scioto river. State Highway 56 was under water and a trailer was swept into the river. The crest for the month was 20.4 feet at Circleville, 6.4 feet above flood stage.

1950-1959 Events
January 21, 1959 Severe Floods
On the 19th and 20th, a light rain and snow gradually became a heavy rain late on the 20th. The heavy rains were concentrated in a 50-mile-wide band from the southwest to northeast, focused along and just northwest of I-71. 4″-6″ of rain fell between the 19th and 21st, with the majority occurring during a 12-hour period on the 21st. Frozen ground caused high runoff, creating flood conditions across the area.
In what would be the worst flood in Columbus since 1913, Alum Creek flooded large sections of the East Side. The Near East Side was flooded all the way west to Miller Avenue, and Bexley was almost completely cut off as every bridge but Agler Road were flooded. The East Side flood encompassed an area from Fairwood Avenue to just east of Alum Creek, and from 5th Avenue south to Champion Avenue. This was the first flood known on Alum Creek in the city’s history.
On the West Side, a levee failure caused the Scioto River to flood Franklinton between Glenwood and Central Avenues and south along the Scioto River across Whittier Street and Greenlawn Avenue. The Scioto River at Frank Road crested at a record 27.22 feet, still the highest known since 1913.
More than 2000 people in Columbus had to be evacuated, and schools were shut down citywide.
The cities of Newark, Gahanna and Circleville also had evacuations and significant flooding.
Damage across Central Ohio was in the tens of millions, but there were relatively few deaths.

January 1-6, 1950
A constant rain across the state brought 3-5″ across Central Ohio during the first week of January, 1950, culminating in an ice storm on the 5th widespread flooding by the 6th. At least 18 families had to be evacuated when Big Walnut Creek threatened to overtop a levee. 5 additional families were evacuated by boat in the Wonderland Park neighborhood north of the airport. At least 12 Franklin County roads were closed and lowland flooding was common in many neighborhoods.