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The Ohio River flooded in 1937 through January and February lasting about three weeks. The most affected places were Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois.  The Ohio River flooded due to rain, sleet, and snow causing thousands of homes and businesses to be destroyed and ruined. It even took hundreds of lives and causing massive destruction over three to four states. In some places, it rose to an astonishing height of 80 feet destroying everything in its path. Before the flood happen the city had no protection from flooding or any way to prevent the Ohio River from flooding. Many of the people before the flood didn’t even notice the flooding until it hit which led to a massive evacuation and thousands stranded in their houses. During the flood, many WPA workers and Red Cross workers moved into action to help out and rescue any trapped people. The Red Cross brought lots of food, tents, and supplies. After flood stages went back to normal the WPA workers started working at their best, cleaning up roads and debris. Many people came back to their homes that were fully destroyed and ruined with nothing. Some of the homes were rebuilt from charity money why others weren’t rebuilt which left thousands of people homeless. Behind them, they left a desolate scene of destruction (Jennings). After the river was fully back down to its regular stages, the government created a solution to prevent flooding which was concrete walls, pumping stations, and levees. These solutions prevented the Ohio River from flooding in the future.


Before the Ohio River flooded the city was in alright shape. It had a good population, around 97,000. There wasn’t that many jobs and businesses at the time. Most of the people of the town were not concerned or worried about the flood. The river was around 33.5 feet and the temperature was 60 degrees. The end of an unusual period of balmy weather was indicated for the Evansville section on Saturday morning, January 9, after the wind had shifted Friday night and brought the temperature down from some 62 degrees to about 40(Jennings).Then the following day the worst snow and sleet storms in many years hit down over Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Flood warnings were posted with increasing rapidity during the next few days and on January 18 weather experts expressed fears of conditions of one of the worst storms to hit Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois since 1913. When the storm hit the temperatures dropped down to 40 degrees. They paid no attention to the rising water or rainfall. On January 18 the flood started to rise and people started to notice the rising and how it was rising over the banks. When the water started to rise over the bank’s many people started to evacuate and leave the city. Many services were starting to shut down for example phone lines, telegraphs and even radios were not working. This made it hard for emergency services to respond and contact people that were trapped or hurt in the flood. People were left to evacuate their selves unless the WPA workers could get to them. When the WPA workers couldn’t get to them the military had to step in and help. They declared martial law to help citizens get out of the flood and help rescue citizens.


It’s a place in history in which one of the worst floods happened. It destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. Richard Davis talks a brief about where, when, why, and how the flood happens, Ohio River happened threw Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. It happened in 1937 through January and February, it flooded because of rain and sleet (Davis). How it happened was because there were no concrete walls, pumping stations or levees to avoid flooding. Rain and sleet were the main causes of the flood because over 19 inches of rainfall and had terrible snow and sleet storms. During the flood, the Red Cross was sent to help with food and transportation. Also during the flood, President Roosevelt sent thousands of workers to help clean and help people get out of the flood. The coast guard brought hundreds of boats over but to meet the needs workers built boats in the streets. Many outdoor kitchens were built and Red Cross members and volunteers worked the kitchens. Many warm clothes and bedding were rushed to shriving refuges from WPA sowing rooms and from many other states. After the clean up the government came up with solutions. One of the best solutions were levees, which could hold thousands of gallons of water. The two other solutions were concrete walls and pumping stations. Pumping stations made a huge difference because they could transfer huge amounts of water to another area. Concrete walls made a huge barrier which could hold more water than before the flood

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The impact of the flood is homes and business where destroyed and thousands were left homeless. Millions of people were homeless with no job and unemployed.  The Flood left thousands of people homeless. Many people had to leave everything behind which was destroyed (Davies). Many people had to evacuate and live in new homes. Many refugees’ camps were made to house thousands of people that were left homeless by the flood. All camps were filled with tents. Many of the tents were filled with cots and stoves.  The worker had to start cleaning up the city, many of the basements had to have the water pumped out with fire trucks. All streets had to be cleaned, washed, and repaired. Then workers start help clean up private property with the owner because there were huge branches and obstacles to clean up. Public business and schools were repaired and restored with new supplies. Fire alarms and underground wiring were fixed and replaced. Thousands of farm animals were killed and to be buried or were left to rot. Over 150,000 workers were there to help and fix the cities. Which lead to thousands of jobs to open up. If they didn’t get a job they had to rely on charity and other donations. It left hundreds of individual’s dead.


After the 3 week flood, the city of Evansville Indiana was in complete disaster with everything destroyed. It cost the Red cost over 11 million dollars in today’s money for aid and food.  It also cost 250 million dollars in property damage leaving 1 million homeless. In Jefferson Indiana, 90 percent of the area was completely flooded which cost the federal government to spend over 500,000 in aid there. In New Albany Indiana, the cost was not as high as Jefferson Indiana cost only costing 70,000 in aid. The Ohio River flood of 1937 surpassed all floods of modern history submerging 70% of Louisville (90% of neighboring Jeffersonville, Indiana) and forcing the evacuation of 175,000 residents with damage, in today’s dollars estimated at over $3,300,000,000.00. That’s a lot of zeros, 3.3 billion dollars’ worth! (In 1937). According to the Huntington distract U.S Army Corps of Engineer they spent over 238.8 million in flood damages in Ohio. In southern Illinois damaging costing up to 75 million. With over three hundred bridges destroyed, with 3 schools completely destroyed and with over twelve hundred submerged homes it roughly cost 1.2 billion dollars in today’s money. In Louisville, 

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