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1 The Dayton Flood - 1913. 2 “Nature is sometimes subdued But seldom extinguished” Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Dayton Flood - 1913. 2 “Nature is sometimes subdued But seldom extinguished” Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Dayton Flood - 1913

2 2 “Nature is sometimes subdued But seldom extinguished” Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

3 3 The Miami Valley Between the years of 1780 through 1790 pioneers moved into the Miami Valley Through treaties and war many of the Native Americans, including the Shawnee and Miami, were moved for forests to be cleared for farming

4 4 Changing Times Like other pioneers, new farmers to the Miami Valley settled near the most fertile lands adjacent to the waterways These rivers assured water for agriculture, transportation for people and goods, and energy to run the mills

5 5 Changing Times Due to the crisscrossing of railroads the Miami Valley experienced rapid population growth By the 1870’s Dayton had become a nationally important center for the production of railroad cars and the manufacturing of cash registers The National Cash Register Company (NCR)

6 6 Warnings Ignored As the men and women of the Miami Valley prospered economically and politically they paid little attention to the warnings signs of a disaster in the making The valley experienced the shaking of an earthquake in 1811 Tornadoes had occasionally struck the Miami Valley - none with much force

7 7 Warnings Ignored The Miami Valley had experienced several floods throughout the 1800’s 1805, 1828, 1847, 1866 The flood of 1805 brought 8 feet of water to the city streets of Dayton In the aftermath, the citizens of Dayton decided to construct earthen levees along the Great Miami River

8 8 Warnings Ignored Although the flood of 1898 set record crest levels, the citizens of Dayton felt no sense of urgency to construct more effective means of flood control No new channels in the river bed were dug, no new levees or dams were built The existing levees were typically patched up and repaired after the spring rains

9 9 Mother Nature’s Wrath In the spring of 1913 the Miami Valley would be at the center of three massive air masses that would collide over the valley One system developed in the Gulf of Mexico which moved quickly north The second swept down out of Canada The third moved westward from the Great Plains

10 10 Dangerous Conditions By March of 1913 the three weather systems converged on the Miami Valley From March 23 to March 27 eleven inches of rain fell saturating the Miami Valley This amount of rain could not have come at a worse time Through the first days of March light rain had fallen on the area

11 11 Dangerous Conditions The ground was unable to absorb more moisture because of melting snow and ice and the early spring rains The extra water drained into the creeks and rivers that flowed downstream towards Dayton All together, nearly four trillion gallons flowed through the Miami Valley 30 days flow over Niagara Falls

12 12 Disaster Strikes Dayton On Saturday and Sunday March 22 and 23 swollen rivers overflowed their banks upriver in Piqua and Troy By Tuesday the waters had reached the city streets of Dayton Eventually the flood would cover about fourteen square miles

13 13 Disaster Strikes Dayton From the first day of the disaster, rescuers used whatever they could to save people stranded by rising waters People did whatever they could to reach safety Those stranded by the water waited on rooftops for rescue from passing boats People crawled along telephone lines to reach higher ground

14 14 Disaster Strikes Dayton Dayton’s industrial leaders assisted in the rescue efforts NCR’s John H. Patterson used his factory and carpenters to build rescue boats and organize rescue crews The Business Men’s Association established relief stations providing food and clothing Railroad owners sent trains out of the city to find provisions

15 15 A Horse Struggles the Current in Downtown Dayton

16 16 Waiting For Rescue

17 17 Rescued by NCR Boat

18 18 View from the Main Street Bridge

19 19 The Aftermath As the flood waters receded the damage became evident In Dayton, 123 people lost their lives Property damage exceeded $100,000,000 dollars At least 1,000 homes were destroyed Nearly 1500 horses drowned

20 20 The Aftermath In early May, 1913 life in Dayton was beginning to return to normal Tons of mud and debris were removed from the city streets by wagons, trucks, and trains provided by NCR The Bicycle Club hauled away all the dead animals to an incinerating plant outside of the city Soldiers rebuilt sewer, water and gas services

21 21 Flood Prevention By May 1913 the citizens of Dayton began to develop plans to prevent a future disaster By 1915 Dayton business leaders, engineers, and the Ohio General Assembly had established the Miami Conservancy District Created the “Official Plan” Five dams

22 22 Building For The Ages Massive construction projects were begun by February 1918 The Miami Conservancy District assembled the newest technology of the time Over 1,000 workers 200 dump trucks 73 miles of electrical transmission lines 29 locomotives 80 trucks and cars

23 23 Building For The Ages Although the dams were built with conventional technology each was installed with the newest innovation: The hydraulic jump The dams would feed water over low dams into “pools” These pools would control the amount of water that would flow downstream Flood prevention

24 24 Sustaining The System The construction of the dams was completed by 1923 Over the years the dams have been inspected by District engineers for structural wear The last comprehensive study of the dams in 1962 determined them to be “generally in an excellent state of preservation” and the “integrity of flood protection is intact”

25 25 Englewood Dam - 1919

26 26 Huffman Dam - 1920

27 27 Taylorsville Dam - 1920

28 28 Germantown Dam - 1920

29 29 Lockington Dam - 1920

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