1937 Flood Mark -- Falls of the Ohio SP Interpretive Center, Clarksville IN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 38° 16.594 W 085° 45.827
16S E 608129 N 4237224
Quick Description: The high-level mark for the 1937 Ohio River flood is etched into the brick at the Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center, Clarksville IN
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 2/22/2022 12:38:42 PM
Waymark Code: WM15TAT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member SearchN
Views: 0

Long Description:
This high water mark is easy to miss unless you are a waymarker and SEE EVERYTHING -- it's high on the west side wall, at the exit to the stairway leading to the Fossil Beds. As you approach the stairs, look up and to your right - the level mark is there, etched into the brick.

From Wikipedia: (visit link)

"The Ohio River flood of 1937 took place in late January and February 1937. With damage stretching from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois, 385 people died, one million people were left homeless and property losses reached $500 million ($8.723 billion when adjusted for inflation as of January 2019). Federal and state resources were strained to aid recovery as the disaster occurred during the depths of the Great Depression and a few years after the beginning of the Dust Bowl.

Event timeline
January 5: Water levels began to rise.

January 10–18: Numerous flood warnings were issued across much of the region.

January 13–24: Near record rainfalls were recorded.

January 18: Numerous homes were flooded as the Ohio River started to overflow its banks due to the heavy rains.

January 23–24: Martial law was declared in Evansville, Indiana, where the water level was at 54 feet (16 m).

January 26: River gauge levels reached 80 feet (24 m) in Cincinnati, the highest level in the city's history.

January 27: River gauge reached 57 feet (17 m) in the Louisville area, setting a new record. Seventy percent of the city was under water at that time.

February 2: River gauge surpassed 60 feet (18 m) in Paducah, Kentucky

February 5: Water levels fell below the flood stage for the first time in nearly three weeks in several regions.

Aftermath and reconstruction
Media response
A handful of powerhouse radio stations, including WLW Cincinnati and WHAS Louisville, quickly switched to non-stop news coverage, transmitting commercial-free for weeks. These broadcasts consisted mostly of messages being relayed to rescue crews, as many civil agencies had no other means of communication. The Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton was commissioned by The Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspapers to provide sketches depicting the miserable conditions of the flooded areas in the Missouri Bootheel region.

When it became obvious that the river would cut the electric power to radio station WHAS—thus cutting the last radio voice in Louisville—the rival clear channel station in Nashville, WSM, picked up WHAS's broadcast via telephone and broadcast emergency flood reports for three days for the lower Ohio River. Other stations across the country did much the same.

Around January 18, Huntington, WV radio station WSAZ (1190 AM) began hourly broadcasts of flood related news. On January 22, the station received permission from the Federal Communications Committee to broadcast around the clock. The studios and offices in the downtown Keith-Albee Theatre Building became a regional communications center. They established direct telephonic communication with the city's general relief headquarters in City Hall with Red Cross, the Naval Reserve, the American Legion, the police and fire departments, and the Coast Guard. Messages of inquiry concerning the safety of friends and relatives, warnings of rising gasoline-covered waters, appeals for help from marooned victims, orders to relief agencies and workers poured into the cramped studios and quickly broadcast. Staff and local volunteers stayed on the air and provided information and support for nine days until 8:00 o'clock the following Sunday night, Jan. 31, when the station's regular schedule was resumed.

Government response
In January 1937, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, District Engineer, MAJ Bernard Smith dispatched an entire fleet down the Cumberland River for rescue and relief work in response to the severe flooding. The bridges were too low to allow the vessels to pass under, so the vessels were forced to steam across farmland and bridge approaches, dodging telephone and power lines.

The federal government under President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent thousands of area WPA workers to the affected cities to aid in rescue and recovery. It also sent supplies for food and temporary housing, and millions of dollars in aid after the floodwaters receded.

The scale of the 1937 flood was so unprecedented that civic and industrial groups lobbied national authorities to create a comprehensive plan for flood control. The plan involved creating more than seventy storage reservoirs to reduce Ohio River flood heights. Not fully completed by the Army Corps of Engineers until the early 1940s, the new facilities have drastically reduced flood damages since.

In the 1930s, the Tennessee Valley Authority sought to create a continuous minimum 9-foot (2.7 m) channel along the entirety of the Tennessee River from Paducah to Knoxville. The Authority also sought to help control flooding on the lower Mississippi River, especially in the aftermath of the Ohio River flood of 1937, as research had shown that 4% of the water in the lower Mississippi River originates in the Tennessee River watershed. TVA surveyed the lower part of the river and considered the Aurora Landing site, but eventually settled on the present site at river mile 22.4. The Kentucky Dam project was authorized on May 23, 1938, and construction began July 1, 1938.

Much of the work of the Tennessee Valley Authority in the Tennessee River basin was strongly supported by the majority of the citizens in western Kentucky and their representatives in the United States Congress. U.S. Sen. Alben W. Barkley of Paducah and U.S. Rep. William Gregory from Mayfield and his brother U.S. Rep. Noble Gregory from Mayfield who succeeded him in office strongly supported the funding of TVA and its role in addressing flood control, soil conservation, family relocation, recreation, production of electricity, and economic development."
Natural or man made event?: Natural

What type of marker?: Etched brick

When did this occur?: 1937

Website related to the event..: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
A picture showing the level along with any markers telling of what had occurred can be used. Better yet would be a picture of you or someone standing next to the high level mark, that would show if you would have been just wading or completely submersed.
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Benchmark Blasterz visited 1937 Flood Mark -- Falls of the Ohio SP  Interpretive Center, Clarksville IN 2/24/2022 Benchmark Blasterz visited it