READY TO ROLL

READY TO ROLL

Thursday, February 14, 2008

GREAT FLOOD OF 1913

UPDATED APRIL 2008


Photos: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

The Great Flood of 1913 that ravaged Dayton and other cities drove 300 families from their homes in Springfield as Buck Creek poured into the streets of the city, according to a dispatch in the March 26, 1913 edition of The New York Times.

Firemen and police assisted with the evacuation. The city fire division also sent two engines and a chief officer to Dayton, the Times said in a feature in its April 20, 1913 edition.

According to the Ohio Historical Society:

``Beginning March 23, 1913, an unusually heavy rainstorm moved into Ohio. It rained steadily for five days and streams all over Ohio rose rapidly. By the third day of the downpour, levees were overtopped and many towns suffered disastrous flooding.''

Springfield was spared the great loss of life in Dayton.

Among those to die in the neighboring city was Dayton firefighter Ed Doudnaa of Hose Company No. 9, who fell from a rescue boat into the swift waters on March 25, 1913, according to Allan W. Eckert's book "Time of Terror."

Statewide, more than 300 people died, according to the state historical society.

Anniversary

On the 95th anniversary of the flood, the Dayton Daily News recalled:

``In western Clark County, the Mad River trapped people on rooftops; in Springfield, waters rose slowly enough for people to leave, though the bridges between the north and south sides of the city were underwater or washed away. A mother and her two children died in Durbin, just west of Springfield, when their boat capsized as they were leaving their home.

``Even before the waters receded, Springfield residents went to work on relief efforts for their Dayton neighbors, collecting trainloads of provisions in door-to-door appeals. Springfield officials offered up the city's contingency fund for Dayton's use in flood relief.''