Sunday, Jul 24, 2016
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Monday Memories

Monday Memories: The Great Flood of 1913

Ohio’s largest weather disaster flooded Toledo

Today Monday Memories goes back to March, 1913, to revisit Ohio’s largest weather disaster. Flood waters in Toledo washed out some transportation service and communication lines, and submerged wharves from Monroe Street to Ash Street. At its crest, the water covered the lower floor of Tiedtke’s warehouse and part of the basement of the Tiedtke’s store. This photo was taken at the corner Adams and Water Street.

Toledo fared much better than most Ohio communities. Areas such as Fremont, Tiffin, Dayton, and Columbus were hit with large amounts of rain and flooding from March 23-27, 1913. The combination of hurricane-force winds, then rain, and flooding resulted in 428 deaths in Ohio, primarily because of a lack of an advance weather-warning system and reservoirs, river walls, and other flood reduction efforts.

According to old weather-bureau reports, Toledo had 5.5 inches of rain during a three-day period. The Maumee River overflowed its banks, and there were some weather-related deaths and property losses reported, but the problems in Toledo were not as severe as in other parts of the state. Tiffin had 7.97 inches of rain while Fremont reported 8.67 inches. The surging water toppled bridges, hampered rail transport, cut communication lines, and broke through levees.

Toledo was one of the few locations that had the ability to transport. Using boats and trains, it sent aid to other Ohio communities. Go to toledoblade.com/​Memories to purchase photos by our award-winning staff of photographers, past, and present.

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