45 years ago this week, Pennsylvania was the epicenter of one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States. The natural disaster was the Agnes Flood. The flood was caused by the rains of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Agnes. The flooding started on June 23, 1972 when the water broke through the Susquehanna River Levee system.

The flood waters covered a large sections of the Wyoming Valley, causing an estimated $1 billion worth of damage. The flood damaged some 20,000 homes, 2,728 businesses and 150 factories. With disruptions to the businesses, one third of the work force in Luzerne County had to file for state employment benefits.   In today’s money, that $1 billion worth of damage to Luzerne County would be $5,828,285,183.65.

(To purchase images  visit the Agnes Flood gallery in our photo store)

Additional articles:

Flood of 1972: Hurricane Agnes – National Weather Service

Hurricane Agnes: a look back after 40 years — Capitol Weather Gang, Washington Post, June 21, 2012

As Agnes swamped Wilkes-Barre, Scrantonians banded together to help their neighbors recover from the flood, The Sunday Times, 6/24/2012

Residents remembers recovering from Agnes’ fury 40 years ago, The Sunday Times, 6/24/2012

Storm Fronts exhibit gallery — thetimes-tribune.com, October 10, 2011

Two floods, same house — The Citizens’ Voice, June 17, 2012

Agnes Flood had lasting impact on Back Mountain — The Citizens’ Voice, June 20, 2012

Hurricane Agnes floods memories 40 years later — The Republican-Herald, June 22, 2012