January 21, 1959: Statewide Flood
On many streams, the flood levels of January 1959 were the highest since March 1913 and the second or third highest on record. The streets of Mansfield were under four feet of water and industries were closed by floodwaters in Youngstown and Canton. Columbus was the most severely affected of Ohio’s major cities, with many streets flooded, 100 homes badly damaged, and 3200 evacuees cared for at Red Cross shelters. One-third of Chillicothe was flooded when the Scioto River broke through a levee of sandbags. High water and ice jams on the Sandusky River flooded Upper Sandusky, Tiffin, and Fremont. Deaths and damage were much less than in the March 1913 flood because the January 1959 flood was less intense, flood-control reservoirs were built after 1913, and there was better communication of warnings, organized rescue work, and more adequate design of bridges and other structures.
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