According to the U.S. Geological Survey of the most significant floods of the twentieth century, the flood waters which swept across the State of Ohio in late March 1913 rank at the top of the list. Statewide deaths topped more than 450, and the approximate cost was $143 million.
Dayton, as you can tell from the picture above, was not immune from the flood. In fact, Dayton, which sits on the Great Miami River, was hard hit. Flood waters covered a large portion of downtown and the surrounding area. There are still water marks visible on some of the downtown buildings.
But Daytonians are hardy folks. And they did what generations of Midwestern folks have done in the wake of tragedy: they came together, worked to help each other, and to plan that it would never happen again.
If you live in or near Dayton these days, the dam system created by the Miami Conservancy District in the aftermath of the 1913 Dayton flood has helped retain the waters from rising to such destruction again. Especially given all the rain over the past days and weeks. Some moments it feels like it must have during those long rainy end of March days in 1913….. will it ever stop?
But then I pause and remember all the good the rain can do. How the farmers and flowers appreciate the rain, how the world feels washed and clean, renewed when the heavens dry and clouds clear. And the words of Langston Hughes came to mind:
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
So despite the rainy day(s), here’s hoping you and I can can pause and listen to the lullaby.
[Note: This post is #18 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button at the lower left of the page for more information.]