The 4 Most Damaging Floods in American History

Floods are a powerful force of nature, having the power to destroy homes, vehicles, and property at a moment’s notice. According to data from Statista, floods caused 116 deaths in 2017, making them one of the deadliest types of natural disasters in the United States. Our country has a long history of flooding — some of the costliest floods in American history include:

  • The Galveston storm surge of 1900 — In the year 1900, Galveston, Texas was hit with a hurricane and storm surge that caused an estimated $602 million in damage in today’s dollars. Once a bustling center of industry, the city was all but completely wiped out by the storm — and Houston soon took its place as Texas’ social center.
  • South Florida’s 1923 hurricane — In September of 1923, a hurricane would cause a 5-foot-tall mud dam constructed to hold back the waters of Lake Okeechobee to give way and burst. The result was over $1.5 billion in property damage as a result of flooding and the loss of an estimated 2,500-3,000 lives.
  • The Jonestown Flood — After several days of heavy rain, a dam near Jonestown, PA burst on May 31, 1889. Flooding ravaged the city; reports claimed that waters reached over 40 feet in some places. The flooding caused over $12 billion in damages, and an estimated 2,200 men and women were killed — including 99 entire families.
  • Hurricane Katrina — The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina can be directly connected to how settlers altered the landscape. Once a city that was entirely above sea-level, swamp drainage by French settlers caused the poorest parts of the city to sink. When levees and seawalls failed to protect residents from Hurricane Katrina’s landing on Aug. 29, 2005, a whopping 80 percent of the city was flooded with water in a matter of hours.

Is your home protected against flash flooding? Assistance from a waterproofing company in NJ like Rightway Waterproofing can help prepare your home in the event of a flood. To learn more about how waterproofing in NJ can help you ensure the safety of your valuables and loved ones, give Rightway Waterproofing a call today at 866-741-6190!

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John and Barbara Vicich

“We wanted to thank you for your personal and specialized attention to the water problem we had in our basement. You took the time to inspect the whole situation and gave us recommendations, all of which worked. You had a way of explaining the process and materials that would be used in a way that we understood. We are very pleased with the work that was done and would highly recommend your company to anyone.”

-John and Barbara Vicich

Debbie, Berwyn

“The day after Hurricane Irene, all of my neighbors basements were filled with water, while mine remained dry! It is wonderful, everything remains dry and the battery backup worked beautifully when my power was out for 2 days. Dry AND quiet, thank you, thank you! Thanks! Debbie, Berwyn”

-Debbie, Berwyn

Doug Smith, Glenside

“All I have to say is that Hurricane Irene was no match for the job that Rightway did for my basement and my father-in-law’s. I had my basement done 5 years ago and we are still bone dry and my father-inlaw’s was done last year and another dry basement… Great job! I highly recommend them for waterproofing and mold remediation.”

-Doug Smith, Glenside


“I’d highly recommend these guys for your basement. My basement has been dry since they installed a sump pump and French drain in June. They offer a competitive price, they get the job done quickly and they stand by their work. Please mention my name if you proceed down the road with these guys.”


Angelo and Sandra Patiri

“We had our basement waterproofed with Rightway Waterproofing in 2007, after all this time and just getting through Hurricane Irene, we did not get a drop of water in our basement. Rightway Waterproofing did a very good job and we are very satisfied!”

-Angelo and Sandra Patiri