WX History: May 16th

1883: Benchmark flooding in the Black Hills occurred in 1883, with extremely high flows reported throughout the hills that resulted from heavy rainfall on top of snowmelt.

May 16, 1883 Deadwood Flooding
Deadwood, South Dakota following the 1883 flood. The photograph is courtesy of the Adams, Museum, in Deadwood, South Dakota and used by the USGS.

Source: Black Hills Area Floods – 1877 to 1890.

1874: The Mill Creek disaster occurred west of North Hampton, MA. Dam slippage resulted in a flash flood that claimed 143 lives and caused a million dollars property damage.

Source(s): New England Historical Society and In the Shadow of the Dam: The Aftermath of the Mill River Flood of 1874.

1983: An unyielding spring storm dumped heavy snow across the Front Range in Colorado. High winds of 20 to 40 mph with gusts to 55 mph produced blizzard conditions at times. The Foothills received 1 to 2 feet of snow with 4 to 12 inches along the Foothills. Blowing snow whipped the snow into drifts several feet deep closing schools and highways. Power outages occurred; with 20 square miles of Denver blacked out. Hundreds of passengers were stranded as only half of runways were open at Stapleton International Airport. The high temperature at Denver the next day of just 40° set a record low maximum. Much of the snow melted on the 18th as temperatures rebounded into the middle and upper 50s causing widespread street flooding.

1989: Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front produced severe weather in the south-central U.S. Thunderstorms spawned twenty tornadoes, and there were 180 reports of large hail and damaging winds. A tornado in Cleburne, Texas caused thirty million dollars damage. A violent F4 tornado touched down near Brackettville, Texas and a strong F3 tornado killed one person and injured 28 others at Jarrell, Texas.


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