There WAS a catastrophic LOCAL flood around 5600 years ago. There are many legands about that flood that precede the Noah story.
Two senior scientists from Columbia University have proposed a theory that a massive transfer of water occurred about 5600 BCE - over seven and a half millennia ago. They wrote: "Ten cubic miles of water poured through each day, two hundred times what flows over Niagara Falls." "The Bosporus flume roared and surged at full spate for at least three hundred days." 60,000 square miles of land were inundated. The Black Sea shoreline significantly expanded to the north and east. The lake's water level was raised many hundreds of feet. It changed from a fresh-water landlocked lake into a salt water lake connected to the world's oceans.
About 300 cultures around the world have stories of a massive flood. In Judeo-Christian countries, the most famous is the story of Noah's Flood, as recorded in the Bible: Genesis, chapters 6 to 8.
Here is a link to the real skinny on "The Flood" </http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_noah.htm
National Geographic, July, 2000
Bottom Line: There was no world-wide flood that covered the Himalays by 26 feet.