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Railroads of Western Ohio in The 1913 Flood
Scott D Trostel
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Date Listed:
2013-07-30 16:21:04
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Untitled Document

Railroads of Western Ohio in The 1913 Flood

By Scott D Trostel.

Softcover, 96 pages, 8.5x11, photos, illustrations, maps. 2013.

"The flood of March 24 - 27, 1913 brought unprecedented destruction across Ohio and Indiana. It was the railroad and interurban railways that felt its power and wrath first. Bridges were wiped out like tooth picks. Embankments were washed away at the blink of an eye. Track was twisted and bent like silk ribbon for hundreds of miles - yet 100 years later, little has been said about the massive destructions as trains were washed away, lives were lost, and thousands of cars were simply destroyed.

"Interurban railways or the "trolley" was shut down as tracks were washed out, bridges washed away and power houses silenced as flood waters swept in and snuffed out fires in boilers and filled generator rooms. Transmission poles and line poles were pushed over like drinking straws. In Dayton the network of street car lines was caught at its busy time when flood waters roared through the levee, washing cars off tracks, wrecking others and covering others up to the roof line in torrents of muddy water.

"/p ;Dayton's largest traditional employer was the famous Barney and Smith Car Company. In one moment, a wall of water roared down on the massive manufacturing complex and it was drowned beneath 14 feet of water. A month later the firm went into receivership, unable to recover from the destructive forces of the flood.

"Dayton Union Station became the refuge for over 500 flood victims, marooned for four days. People wonder how anyone came out of that building alive after the flood waters receded."