Flood History on the Verde River at Clarkdale

Thanks to streamflow monitoring by the U.S. Geological Society (USGS), historic flood records on the Verde River near Clarkdale are available dating back many years.  The USGS operates the Clarkdale Gauge, which monitors river flows every 15-minutes, and makes the data available on their website.  The Town of Clarkdale and other emergency managers depend on this data during flood emergencies, and for other purposes throughout the year. 

In addition to the USGS streamflow gauge, the National Weather Service operates an Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.  The hydrograph shown on this website predicts river flows for the next five days based on a variety of factors available to them.  Although this is only a prediction (similar to a weather forecast), it is a helpful tool for emergency managers and residents who are concerned about the possibility of upcoming flooding.

For perspective, the winter base flows on the Verde River @ Clarkdale range from 70-80 cubic feet per second (cfs).  In the summer, flows can drop to 50-60 cfs.  Clarkdale river outfitters also use streamflow, prediction, and on-site observation data to determine when commercial kayak trips can be safely operated (at flows below 500 cfs).  The highest flood event on record in Clarkdale occurred on February 20, 1993, when recorded flows reached 53,200 cfs.

Historically, the most significant flooding events on the Verde River at Clarkdale occur due to winter snow melt.  In fact, 8 of the Top 10 flood events have occurred in the 6-week period between February 1st and March 15th.  Here is a list of the Top 20 Flood Events on the Verde River @ Clarkdale.

We have also researched the Peak Recorded Flows each year Since 1966, and included them here for your information.