Carole G. Vogel

Writer • Researcher • Family History Specialist

The Great Midwest Flood

by Carole G. Vogel


Floods have periodically spilled over the banks of the Midwest’s rivers. But in the summer of 1993, propelled by unrelenting rain, the Mississippi and Missouri rivers climbed higher than anyone could remember. They converged with their tributaries to create a vast inland sea that lingered for months. Floodwaters burst through levees, washing away crops, drowning farm animals, and engulfing homes and businesses.

In clear and graceful language, The Great Midwest Flood chronicles this slow-motion disaster and the super-human effort to contain it through the use of levees, reservoirs, and sandbags. The informative text provides careful explanations of flood management techniques, and is spiced with colorful stories of evacuation and clean up. Full color photographs, maps, and diagrams, capture the astonishing force and destruction of the flood as well as the amazing strength and faith of its victims in this unforgettable story of natural disaster.

Praise for The Great Midwest Flood:

“Vogel captures the drama and tension of the summer of 1993 when the Mississippi River basin was flooded to record levels. Readers will appreciate her analogy that ‘while an earthquake does its damage in seconds…the great flood of 1993 was a slow-motion disaster,’ wreaking havoc for months…Vogel’s writing style is concise but lively, and she includes interesting bits of information that readers may never have considered: how to deal with the frogs, snakes, and worms invaded that water-logged homes; with the scum, sand and dangerous debris that littered farm fields and city streets; and with shortages of cleaning supplies…. A wonderful addition to school and public library collections. — Booklist

“Through both words and full-color pictures, the book describes the battles from city to city as each struggled to contain the Mississippi or its tributaries. The author notes both financial and personal losses when the waters finally receded… She stresses [the need for] floodplain management and restoration of the wetlands around the Mississippi… Her views are insightful and well founded…” — School Library Journal

“The Great Midwest Flood is interesting nonfiction for casual browsers, yet useful for students studying weather, geography, or rivers… There are no villains in the book but there are a few heroes (mostly unnamed) who fought to hold back the water, or who rescued those who couldn’t escape the rising water on their own. Color photographs add to the drama, danger, mess, horror, and wonder of it all.” — Carol Otis Hurst in Children’s Books in Teaching K-8

“The Great Midwest Flood chronicles the devastating flood that slowly encroached upon the Midwest, dramatically changed the land and ultimately changed the lives of the people who live there… We still don’t know all the damage from the flood of ’95. What we do know is that in times of crisis people band together to help each other, and perhaps that is the best message of all fromThe Great Midwest Flood.” — “Linda’s Sillig’s Book Ends“, in the Loudoun Times Mirror.



The Horn Book’s list of recommended books on natural disasters. In 1997, the editors of the Horn Book compiled a list of books to help young people understand various natural disasters. Two of the nine books on the list were by Carole G. Vogel, including The Great Midwest Flood.


  • Published by Little, Brown and Co., 1995
  • 32 pages
  • Grades 3-8
  • ISBN 0-316-90248-9
  • 44 full color photographs
  • maps and diagrams