On this day 106 years ago the water from the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 crested at 20 ft. downtown.  

“The great 1913 flood was Ohio’s worst natural disaster,” Leo DeLuca, Media Coordinator at Carillon Historical Park said.  

After abundant snowfall, saturated soil, up to 11 inches of rain, and merging tributaries resulted in the flood.  

“It became very clear that this was unlike any other storm,” DeLuca said.   

There was a breach in the Mad River Levee and a wall of water nearly 10 feet tall rushed into Dayton at speeds of 25 mph.  

“It was just this tragedy that shook the city,” DeLuca said.  

The water downtown crested at 20 feet high at 1:30 a.m. on March 26, 1913.  

Water covered the current location of the Great 1913 Flood Exhibit Building at Carillon Historical Park. 

“The waters were coming up to that blue line,” DeLuca said, “if you can even imagine.”  

Over four trillion gallons of water destroyed 14,000 homes, and 350 lives were lost.  

“It’s a story of a city that was hit by Ohio’s worst Natural Disaster and triumphed and overcame this obstacle,” DeLuca said. “I think it speaks to the resilience of Dayton, and I think it speaks to the ingenuity and the innovation.”  

John H Patterson and National Cash Register crafted over 200 john boats to save people.  

After the flood, the city rallied a two million dollar flood prevention fund.  

Afterward, the Miami Conservancy District is what insured the city would never flood again, creating five basins or dry dams to hold the water. 

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