100th anniversary of Ohio's worst natural disaster - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

100th anniversary of Ohio's worst natural disaster

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MAUMEE, Ohio -

This is National Flood Safety Week, and the end of this week marks the 100th anniversary of Ohio's greatest natural disaster. A major flood occurred across almost all parts of the state.

Weather records show that 6" - 11" of rain fell across much of Ohio in just a few days.

We spoke with Irene Martin, a Preservationist with the Toledo Public Library.  After retrieving several issues of The Toledo Blade from 100 years ago, she said "it was quite extensive. Columbus, Dayton, all of the towns from here up were having problems with flooding."

Virtually all rivers flooded, and this remains the record highest flood along the Maumee River in Waterville, Napoleon and Defiance.

19 deaths were reported in Tiffin, as the Sandusky River overtook entire neighborhoods.

"There were a lot of stories of people helping other people. One lady was pregnant, and she was rescued and gave birth in a rowboat," Martin added.

The Ohio Historical Society says that the flood killed 467 people, and flooded 40,000 homes across the state.

"Toledo was not the hardest hit, so we ended up sending National Guard and supplies to other areas like Dayton. It's kind of interesting. Some other towns borrowed rowboats," Martin said.

The flooding became so severe that officials used dynamite to destroy some of the locks along the canal system in many parts of Ohio, to help alleviate some of that floodwater.

Historians say that the Great Flood of 1913 - and the destruction of many of the locks, brought an end to the canal era in this part of the nation.

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