The collection displays photographs of the extensive damage the "Great Flood" had in Warren, Ohio. The research within this exhibit covers a brief overview of the entire Great Flood of 1913, but all the photographs focus on the damage in Warren, specifically.
The Great Flood of 1913, which occurred between March 23 and 26, brought widespread and extensive damage.
Ohio was just one several states impacted by this “Great Flood,” resulting in the death and property damage.
According to the Ohio History Connection, the flood remains one of the state’s largest natural disasters. “The statewide extent of death and destruction in the Flood of 1913 exceeds all other weather events in Ohio."
Rainfall over the state totaled 6-11 inches. The death toll was 467 and more than 40,000 homes were flooded.
As part of the flood’s path, downtown Warren was almost entirely underwater. The Tribune Chronicle (1913) reported the waters throughout the city cut Warren off from the outside world.
Homes and buildings either washed away or burned down. Firefighters worked to quell the damage. In addition to Warren, the entire Mahoning Valley became plagued by the extensive flooding.
Due to the magnitude of this natural disaster, federal projects were implemented to reduce the chances of flooding like this in the future.
After the entire flood receded, the floods damaged or destroyed docks, bridges, railroads and trains across the eastern and central United States.
Research showed the most significant damage of the “Great Flood” happened near the Ohio Valley, especially in Dayton.
It was estimated over $300 million in damage took place as a result of the flood.
In today's world, the damage would have exceeded $2 billion.
The destruction cut across nearly 14 US states, making it the most widespread natural disaster in the country's history.
The rain eventually traveled south to drain in the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting flooding in the southern states lasted until May.
Several weeks after the "Great Flood," the Mississippi River spilled into Memphis and New Orleans, resulting in extensive damage in these cities and along its banks.
History.com mentioned the "Great Flood" is typically forgotten because most people viewed it as a local event, not a national disaster.
“If you lived in Dayton, it was the Great Dayton Flood. If you lived in Indianapolis, it was the Great Indianapolis Flood. People thought of it in local terms although it was a huge regional flood.”
After the flood, Indiana established a flood commission. Pennsylvania took steps to construct new dams. Stalled flood control legislation was passed in states like Texas and California.
A natural disaster of this kind and magnitude hasn't reappeared in Ohio since the "Great Flood," especially in communities such as Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Akron and Warren.
All photos courtesy of the Trumbull County Historical Society.
Research provided by the Trumbull County Historical Society, the Tribune Chronicle and History.com. Quotes and paraphrases are given proper attribution.