USGS - science for a changing world

Kansas Water Science Center

Jump to content

Jump back to navigation

The 1903 and 1993 Floods in Kansas

        Topekans were up to their ankles, and probably deeper, in water 100 years ago this Memorial Day (2003). The Kansas River overflowed its banks on May 31, 1903, flooding North Topeka with up to 12 feet of water in some places. Twenty-four people were drowned. Ninety years and almost 2 months later on July 25, 1993, floodwaters again threatened the city, but time and technology had changed the effects of too much water in the Kansas River Basin. Floodwaters in 1993 were contained within protective levees and by regulated outflow from several Federal reservoirs located upstream. No lives were lost, and property damage was much less than it otherwise would have been.

Mad Water at Lawrence,KS during 1903 flood
"Mad Water" at Lawrence, Kansas during 1903 flood
 (Murphy, 1904)

Controlled Flow Over the Emergency Spillway at Tuttle Creek Lake
Controlled Flow Over the Emergency Spillway at Tuttle Creek Lake, 
July 1993 (photograph by Charles A. Perry, USGS)



Press Release
FS-019-03 -- The 1903 and 1993 Floods in Kansas- The Effects of Changing Times and Technology
Other Publications Related to Flooding
Photo Gallery for 1903 Flood North Topeka

Photo Gallery for 1993 Flood Lawrence

Flood Hydrographs Flood Hydrographs
Other Links of Interest



USGS Home Water Resources Biology Geography Geology Geospatial

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:
Page Last Modified: 2015-10-28 13:42:47 CDT