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1903 Flood, Hannibal Bridge
1903 Flood, Hannibal Bridge
Title1903 Flood, Hannibal Bridge
DescriptionPostcard of the Hannibal Bridge during the 1903 flood.
Historical ArticleA post card published in color by the Detroit Publishing Company is titled Hannibal Bridge, Kansas City, Missouri. It pictures the 1903 flood. The photograph was made looking north and west of the old bridge, which crossed the Missouri River.

As far as can be seen water covers the entire river bend area, including what now is the Municipal Air Terminal. Spectators watch the swirling flood waters from a high point of land just east of the bridge. Others are gathered below at the old municipal dog pound, near the railroad tracks on the river bank.

June 2, 1903, the Missouri river crested at 34.9 feet, 12.9 feet above the natural river bank. Twenty-two thousand persons were left homeless, all except 2,500 from the Kansas City, Kansas area. The West Bottoms, the East Bottoms, Armourdale and North Kansas City were covered with water. Several lives were lost and property damage was in the millions. It was the worst disaster that had befallen Kansas City.

Only the 1844 flood had been greater, when the water rose three feet higher than in 1903. (Kansas City's most disastrous flood was that of 1951, when the water crested at 36.2 feet.)

These and other devastating floods occurred in Kansas City before the levees were built to protect the area, along with dams on the upper Missouri and Kaw River basins.

According to U.S. Army Engineers in the area, Kansas City is now protected to 43 feet on the river gauge, or to what is about 21 feet higher than the natural river bank.

Kansas City Star
June 14, 1975
AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectFloods
1903 Flood
Missouri River
Hannibal Bridge
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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