“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fredericksburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

A History of Floods

A History of Floods Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 24, 2015
1. A History of Floods Marker
Inscription. Fredericksburg has experienced floods since its earliest settlement. The Rappahannock River originates 77 miles to the west, in a mountain spring, and the upriver watershed drains a very large expanse. By the time is passes Fredericksburg, the river's flow has become substantial. the worst flood of record occurred in October 1942, when a tropical hurricane intruded and then dissipated over the watershed and a slow cold front brought a final two-hour cloudburst.

The plain in front of you helps control the impacts of river floods. The open, undeveloped land allows floodwaters to spread out, which absorbs their velocity as well as their volume. The trees within this riparian zone stabilize the stream banks and absorb pollutants. Vast amounts of moving water can severely impact the built environment, but floodplains kept in their natural state help to mitigate potential flood damage elsewhere.
Location. 38° 19.067′ N, 77° 28.184′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Caroline Street and Forbes Street on Caroline Street. Click for map. The marker is on the Fredericksburg Heritage Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22401, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of
A History of Floods Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 24, 2015
2. A History of Floods Marker
this marker. Bound for Freedom (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans of Foreign Wars Eternal Flame (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Encounter at the Fall Line (about 600 feet away); Freedom Began Here (approx. mile away); Moncure Daniel Conway (approx. mile away); Anthony Burns (approx. mile away); Conway House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Carl's (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Fredericksburg.
More about this marker. The captions for the marker's pictures are:
Main picture:
Floodwaters flow down Fauquier Street during the 1942 flood.
Virginia map:
The Rappahannock River drains a watershed of 2,848 square miles. The upriver basin is 57 miles wide, but narrows to 10 miles wide at Fredericksburg, which is what makes the City susceptible to periodic floods.
Lower right photograph:
When the Rappahannock River floods, as shown here in 1942, its floodplains absorb the swollen waters.

On the left of the marker is a chart of, "Floods of record, as measured in cubic feet per second (CFS)."
Categories. EnvironmentWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 168 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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