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Glossary
Flood Protection

In March of 1913, the Miami Valley witnessed a natural disaster unparalleled in the region’s history. Three storms converged on the state, dumping 9 to 11 inches of rain March 23-25 on ground already saturated from the melting of ice and snow of a hard winter. A 90-percent runoff rate caused the Great Miami River and its tributary streams to overflow. Every city along the river was inundated with floodwaters.

More than 360 people lost their lives; property damage exceeded $100 million (nearly $2 billion in today’s economy).

In the wake of this tragedy, Miami Valley citizens rallied to initiate plans to prevent future flooding. Some 23,000 citizens contributed more than $2 million to begin a comprehensive flood protection program on a valley-wide basis.

Arthur Morgan, an engineer based in Memphis, Tennessee, was hired to develop the system. The result was an unfailing flood protection system of five dry dams – Germantown, Englewood, Lockington, Taylorsville and Huffman – and levees that has protected the Miami Valley from flooding by the Great Miami River since 1922.

Today, the system protects

  • Tens of thousands of people in 40 municipalities
  • More than 48,000 properties in five counties
  • More than $5.1 billion worth of buildings and land
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The Great Flood of 1913
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