January 26, 1937: Statewide Flood
The Ohio River crested at 80 feet at Cincinnati on January 26. This was 28 feet over flood stage and 9 feet above the 1884 record. More than 50,000 were homeless, 10% of the city was inundated, water supply was cut, and streetcar service was curtailed. At Portsmouth, it became clear that the flood wall, erected 10 feet above flood stage, would be topped by the rising river. City officials deliberately opened the flood gates and allowed river water to flood the business district 8 to 10 feet deep, thus preventing a catastrophic breaching of the flood wall. The Ohio River eventually crested 14 feet over the top of the floodwall. The death toll of 10 was remarkably low for such a devastating flood and contrasts sharply with the 467 killed in the floods of March 1913.
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