American Disasters - Great Iowa Disasters

Reviewed Resources for Students and Teachers 


Great American Disasters State by State

Alabama  - Alaska  - Arizona  - Arkansas  - California  - Colorado  - Connecticut  - Delaware  - Florida  - Georgia  - Hawaii  - Idaho  - Illinois  - Indiana  - Iowa  - Kansas  - Kentucky  - Louisiana  - Maine  - Maryland  - Massachusetts  - Michigan  - Minnesota  - Mississippi  - Missouri  - Montana  - Nebraska  - Nevada  - New Hampshire  - New Jersey  - New Mexico  - New York  - North Carolina  - North Dakota  - Ohio  - Oklahoma  - Oregon  - Pennsylvania  - Rhode Island  - South Carolina  - South Dakota  - Tennessee  - Texas  - Utah  - Vermont  - Virginia  - Washington - West Virginia  - Wisconsin  - Wyoming 


These pages do not begin to cover all the disasters that have taken place in every state.  There is also controversy over what constitutes and defines a "great" disaster from any other kind.  All disasters are "great" to those directly involved in them.

So these pages are a mix of "great" and "not so great" disasters.  The major disasters are all covered in the larger sites I have linked to as resources and the rest are related items of interest.

For example, you might not find a particular major disaster on this list, but it will be included in a site such as, which is one of the resources found here.

This is an excellent place to begin your research.  The links found here lead to an ever widening amount of information.  Good luck in your efforts.

Go to Iowa Social Studies - Iowa History - Capital City Des Moines, Iowa - Iowa Tourism - Iowa Disasters - Iowa Geography - Iowa Lesson Plans - Iowa Colleges and Universities


The Day the Music Died __ "The Day the Music Died refers to February 3, 1959, a date on which a small-plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, United States, killed three popular American rock and roll musicians: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, as well as the pilot, Roger Peterson." An encyclopedic article. - illustrated - From wikipedia -

Decorah, IA Storm & Flood, May 1902 __ "Large sections of the Malwaukee [sic] track and most of the bridges of this vicinity are gone. About 30 residences are damaged. One family was carried three block in their home, and escaped by cutting a hole in the roof and climbing into the second story of another dwelling against which their house lodged." Original news story and links to related material. - From Sherry McClellan/ -


FEMA: Iowa State Disaster History __ Iowa Disaster History. Major Disaster Declarations. Click on the 'disaster #' on the right side of the list to access detailed information including images and more. - illustrated - From FEMA - 

Historic Disasters: Iowa Disasters __ You will find a list of Iowa disasters. Each list entry is a live link to additional information. - From -


Iowa Disasters Floods, Fires, Tornadoes, Mine Explosions and more __ "Events that touched our ancestor's lives: Iowa floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, mining accidents, explosions, train wrecks, tragic accidents ..." You will find original news sources about Iowa disasters. - From -

Iowa Earthquake Information __ An overview and history of Iowa earthquakes. - From -

Iowa tornadoes __ An index of wikipedia articles about tornadoes in Iowa. - From wikipedia -
Iowa Tornadoes __ Iowa tornadoes from 1950 to 1995, listed by County. - From -

Iowa Tornadoes Cyclones & Twisters __ A list of Iowa tornadoes with each linked to original news stories and more. - From -

Iowa Train Wrecks __ A list of Iowa train wrecks with each linked to original news stories and more. - From - 
United Airlines Flight 232 __ "With no controls working except the power levers for the two remaining engines, it broke up during an emergency landing on the runway at Sioux City, Iowa, killing 110 of its 285 passengers and one of the 11 crew members." An encyclopedic article. - From wikipedia -

Van Horne, IA Olsen Construction Accident, May 1926 __ "local construction worker, lay in a critical condition, hovering between life and death, here tonight as a result of being buried under 30 sacks of cement at noon today." Original news story and more. - From -


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