Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Survived the Ohio Floods of 1969

On the Friday evening of July 4,1969, just a month after I graduated from High School, severe thunderstorms hit a wide area of Ohio. There were high winds and flooding as a result of these storms. Forty one persons lost their lives, and hundreds were injured. Four recreational boaters were among those who died in the 1969 storms and floods. Power outages were widespread. Homes and roads remained covered by water for several days. Ohio Counties affected included Erie, Sandusky, Ottawa, Huron, Wayne, Ashland and Holmes.

My friend Linda and I were working at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Sandusky, Ohio. We closed early due to the terrible weather conditions. I spent the night with Linda's family, as her home was much closer to our job than mine was. Her mom managed to make us supper, without any electricity.
The next day I was able to get back to my own house. Luckily my family home did not suffer any serious water damage, and I can recall my five younger brothers and sisters being bored with no electricity and no television for a few days. The family of my husband-to-be lost several family photograph albums, which was heartbreaking, especially for my future mother in law.

To read more about the July 4, 1969 Floods in Ohio, see the Severe Weather article at the website of the Ohio Historical Society.

This blog post was written for Week 10 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin, and hosted by Geneabloggers. This week's prompt was: Disasters.

*Note: For another account of the July 4, 1969 storm and flood, see pages 213 - 216 in the book THUNDER IN THE HEARTLAND: A CHRONICLE OF OUTSTANDING WEATHER EVENTS IN OHIO, by Thomas W. and Jeanne Appelhans Schmidlin, published in 1996 by the Kent State University Press. Figure 66, which appears on page 214, shows the Ohio counties which were affected.


Nancy said...

Our family lived in Trumbull County - east and south of Cleveland by about 2 hours - and I don't remember this storm. I wonder if it only affected the lake region of Ohio. (If I read the OHS website, maybe it will tell me the geographic extent of the storm, huh? I'll do that.)

Dorene from Ohio said...


I didn't want to break any copyright I didn't include a graphic. Here is a link to one source that maps it:

But, I do have a copy of a much better image. If you provide your email, I can send you a map that shows the exact map from the July 4, 1969 storms and flood.