Images of America: Great Ohio River Flood of 1937
Author: James E. Casto
From the time settlers first pushed into the Ohio Valley, floods were an accepted fact of life. After each flood, people shoveled the mud from their doors and set about rebuilding their towns. In 1884, the Ohio River washed away 2,000 homes. In 1913, an even worse flood swept down the river. People labeled it the “granddaddy” of all floods. Little did they know there was worse yet to come. In 1937, raging floodwaters inundated thousands of houses, businesses, factories, and farms in a half dozen states, drove one million people from their homes, claimed nearly 400 lives, and recorded $500 million in damages. Adding to the misery was the fact that the disaster came during the depths of the Depression, when many families were already struggling. Images of America: The Great Flood of 1937 brings together 200 vintage images that offer readers a look at one of the darkest chapters in the region’s history.