Friday, January 24, 2014

77 Years Ago Today The Water Began To Rise....

Pictures from Historic New Richmond website
Seventy-Seven years ago today, the Ohio River began to rise. The backwaters of the Ohio began a surge upward during the same time period, and the ultimate result, a few short days later, was the great flood of 1937.

With a recorded Ohio River level of near 80 feet, the devastation of the rising waters left thousands homeless and property damage at record levels. Local Cincinnati mega-radio station, WLW, reportedly switched to 24 hour news to cover the developing story and to assist with the recovery effort. Buildings in and around the Ohio River were inundated with water well into the second floor. And the reaction of the government was significant.

In large part due to the 1937 Ohio River flood, the Federal Government fast-tracked the commission of plan to develop a comprehensive flood-control plan along the Ohio. Part of such plan was to create off-river holding areas for rising waters, such as the Eastfork Park, Harsha Lake. These holding pools, in conjunction with the dams and other resources, were built to, hopefully, avoid future catastrophic flooding. However, while well-conceived and good intentioned, one cannot every truly tame "mother nature."

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