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Tuesday December 10, 2019
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CITYSCAPES


The floods of 1982 and 1913


By KEVIN LEININGER
from the archives of The News-Sentinel

You've probably seen - and will continue to see for a while - news reports comparing this week's (1982) disaster with the flood of 1913. The two floods were both tremendously destructive, but Fort Wayne's response - as well as the city itself - was much different in those days.

The flood struck on Friday, March 21, 1913. It was Good Friday, but what happened turned out to be anything but good. A heavy rainstorm caused the city's rivers to rise nearly 20 feet in two days, burying much of Fort Wayne under a deadly wet cover. In all, the flood claimed six lives, including four orphans who drowned when their rescue boat capsized.

Martial law was declared, and 15,000 people were made homeless. Damage estimates indicated the flood cost the city about $3 million, and that was before inflation. The rivers crested at about 26 feet - 11 feet above flood stage.

--March 20, 1982


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