The largest recorded storm in Minnesota history occurred on July 21, 1972, in central Minnesota. A detailed map of this storm was prepared by NWS with data from 245 reporting stations including 215 reports from Operation Rain Gauge. These reports make this the most thoroughly documented heavy rainstorm in Minnesota's history. The storm caused the greatest monetary losses ever experienced in the state for a flash flood. Total damages are estimated at 20 million dollers. Of this total, 5.9 million dollars were damages to the road system, and 3.1 million dollars of this involved damages to the federal-aid system. The events that occurred at Clarissa, Minnesota, a typical small-town community with a population of 599, during this storm are discussed. Also included in this report is a discussion of the occurrences during three large thunderstorms which struck the City of Duluth, a metropolitan area of 100,000 people, during August and September of 1972. The purpose of this report was to illustrate the dilemma faced by the highway engineer, whose task is to properly assess the public benefit versus the high economic cost factors involved in designing drainage structures for passage of runoff from large storms without adequate research information on the probable frequency, magnitude, duration, and location of these storms.

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    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Sponsored by Committee on Surface Drainage of Highways.
  • Authors:
    • Sandahl, John E
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1973

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 17-19
  • Monograph Title: Highways and the catastrophic floods of 1972
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00159567
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309022657
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 20 1977 12:00AM