© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.With the effect of global warming, the frequency of floods, one of the most important natural disasters, increases, and this increases the damage it causes to people and the environment. Flood routing models play an important role in predicting floods so that all necessary precautions are taken before floods reach the region, loss of life and property in the region is prevented, and agricultural lands are protected. This research aims to compare the performance of hybrid machine learning models such as least-squares support vector machine technique hybridized with particle swarm optimization, empirical mode decomposition, variational mode decomposition, and discrete wavelet transform processes for flood routing estimation models in Ordu, Eastern Black Sea Basin, Türkiye. In addition, it is aimed to examine the effect of data division in flood forecasting. Accordingly, 70%, 80%, and 90% of the data were used for training, respectively. For this purpose, the flood data of 2009 and 2013 in Ordu were used. The performance of the established models was evaluated with the help of statistical indicators such as mean bias error, mean absolute percentage error, determination coefficient, Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency, Taylor Diagrams, and boxplot. As a result of the study, the particle swarm optimization least-squares support vector machine technique was chosen as the most successful model in predicting flood routing results. In addition, the optimum data partition ratio was found to be Train:70:Test:30 in the flood routing calculation. The findings are essential regarding flood management and taking necessary precautions before the flood occurs.