The Columbus Flood

by Maureen McCabe on March 23, 2013

The 1913 flood was not just a Columbus flood, much of Ohio flooded after weeks of rain in March 1913.

The Great Flood of 1913 in Columbus, Ohio:

The flood is one hundred years ago this month. Michael Riser says of his video on YouTube:

“My grandmother, a survivor of the Great Flood of 1913, talks about her experience during this dark time in Ohio history.”

Riser’s grandmother, Martha Louise Riser (her maiden name was Baxter) tells the story of the flood in March 1913 along with a slide show of historic photos.

A 2013 map of the Franklinton area and Columbus.

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A map of Columbus west-side shows the Franklinton area as it is in 2013.

A 2013 ‘Thing to do in Columbus, Ohio’

A thing to do on Columbus west-side shared by Andy Konst on his Facebook page Historical West side, Columbus Ohio.  A 2013 event on the west-side of Columbus.

Hilltop Historical

The Hilltop Historical presents a 100th Anniversary Observance of the 1913 Flood on Sunday March 24, 2013 at Haydocy Automotive.   The observance will feature speakers about weather and  history.  Meteorologist Ben Gelber  is a guest speaker talking about the weather conditions that lead up to the 1913 flood.  The event Sunday is at the Haydocy Automotive Community Center at 3895 W. Broad St. Columbus, Ohio 43228.


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 ’Severe Weather in Ohio’ – Ohio History has a video from WBNS TV for on a page titled ‘March 23-27, 1913: Statewide Flood’  about “Ohio’s greatest weather disaster,”  the 1913 flood.  The movie is narrated by a witness to the flood in Columbus.  The narrator talks about the Broad Street bridge breaking up in the flooding.

The  1913 Columbus Flood

Many of the photos in Riser’s video / slide- show name the streets in Columbus.  In her story of her family’s experience during the Columbus flood of 1913 Mrs. Riser talks about a German shopkeeper.   Did the family travel to the area called ‘German Village’  today?   Columbus people survived by climbing to the rooftops. Nearly 100 people died in Columbus. Over 400 Ohioans died as a result of the flood.    A Columbus Metropolitan Library  collection of photos of the 1913 flood is in their  ‘Columbus Memory’ project. One of my favorite photographs is ’13 People Taken From This Tree, Cypress Ave., Columbus, Ohio, Flood, 3 – 26 – 13. ‘    “The bottoms” in Franklinton was under nine or more feet of water after the levee on the Scioto River broke in March 1913.

Columbus in 2012

Columbus weather

Columbus Weather: March 2013

Things to do the weekend after “The Storm”

Ohio Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week

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March 26, 2013 at 07:46 am


1 Dennis March 24, 2013 at 06:43 am


Loved this blog post! Those links you referred to were very useful. I liked HistoricalWestSideColumbus, seeing people there share photos and stories about the old neighborhood.

More to discover at Columbus!

– Dennis

2 Maureen McCabe March 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm


The Facebook group takes Columbus west-side seriously! I was more aware of the history of the flood when I lived in Dayton, Ohio in the 1980s but I don’t know that I understood the flood was the whole state. The home I bought in the Dayton area was in the 100 year flood plain but had been built in the 1940s.

I know areas like Worthington, Dublin, etc. were less developed so much less likely to have photos or 1913 news coverage but I wonder if they experienced flooding. Or all of the farm land that was northern Franklin County, Ohio.

There are lots of great photos of the flood. I really like the movie on the Ohio History site. I wonder if the narration was added later though.

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