Goodbye, The Levee Has Broken, The Story of the Great Dayton Flood

Goodbye, The Levee Has Broken, The Story of the Great Dayton Flood

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On Sunday, March 23, 1913 rain began to fall in Dayton. Early Tuesday morning, March 25th water was draining into Riverdale and North Dayton - and by Wednesday morning, 15 square miles of Dayton were under water.

“Goodbye, The Levee Has Broken, the Story of the Great Dayton Flood,” produced by ThinkTV in partnership with the Montgomery County Historical Society, re-tells the story of one of the most important events in the history of the city - the Great Dayton Flood of 1913.

“Goodbye, the Levee Has Broken,” recounts the day-by-day events of the flood, as experienced by its victims and survivors. Their stories, taken from diaries, letters, and newspaper articles, are brought to life through drawings, film footage, and rarely-seen archival photographs.

Over four days in March floodwaters turned the streets of Dayton into a deadly maze of cross-currents and eddies as fires (caused by ruptured gas lines) burned from above. Ohio's Governor James Cox called it the nation’s worst tragedy since the Civil War and President Woodrow Wilson offered to come to Ohio to do what he could to alleviate the suffering,” noted Shawn Brady, Emmy-award-winning producer and ThinkTV production manager.

“It was a disaster of epic proportions that easily could have transformed Dayton from an enviable place to live and work into a wasteland. Yet the devastation of the city somehow brought out the best in its citizens,” continued Brady. Through their ingenuity and valor thousands of lives were saved and clean-up work, expected to take years, was completed within a matter of months. When it was all over, the people of Dayton came together in a landmark effort to eliminate the threat of flooding in the Miami Valley for all time.

“Goodbye, the Levee Has Broken” was produced in partnership with the Montgomery County Historical Society. Founded in 1896 the Montgomery County Historical Society was established to collect, exhibit, teach and preserve the history of the Miami Valley.

Watch "Goodbye, The Levee Has Broken, the Story of the Great Dayton Flood" on ThinkTV16 & ThinkTV14, March 3 at 8pm and March 15 at 9pm.