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1952 More Flooding

Sioux City, Iowa and the Missouri River, April 13, 1952

Photo courtesy of Sioux City Public Museum.

In the spring of 1952, as work proceeded on Oahe dam, the Missouri River reminded river valley residents once again about the perils of building homes, farms and communities along one of the most flood-prone rivers in the hemisphere.


By 1952 Omaha was protected by a massive flood wall and much of the city escaped severe flooding, but other communities weren’t so fortunate.  Bismarck and Pierre experienced their worst floods ever.  Sioux City’s downtown district was submerged by water.  All 5,500 residents of South Sioux City, Nebraska –across the river from Sioux City- were evacuated and the entire city was flooded.  Hundreds of thousands of acres of farm fields along the river were flooded.  More than 20,000 families were forced from their homes.  Again, the political impetus to build dams and control the river increased.

Sioux City, Iowa

Sioux City, Iowa and the Missouri River, April 13, 1952. An important commercial area along the river was under water.  Courtesy of Sioux City Public Museum.

Sioux City flooded

The Missouri River flooded businesses, homes and one of the world's largest stockyards in Sioux City, Iowa during the flood of 1952. Courtesy of Sioux City Public Museum