Although we’re one of the top states least likely to suffer from natural disasters, that doesn’t mean Ohio hasn’t experienced some out of the ordinary, tragic accidents and natural disasters. The following are what we consider to be the most horrific ones—and the ones we’ve endured and learned from.
1) The Great Flood of 1913
After several days of heavy rainfall and major rivers in the central and eastern United States flooded from runoff, Ohio and 12 other states suffered from a four-day long flood that resulted in homelessness, deaths and extensive damage.
2) Ohio River Flood of 1937
In late January of 1937, the Ohio River flooded in the midst of the Great Depression. Damage stretched all the way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cairo, Illinois.
3) Great Appalachian Storm of November 1950
A large extratropical cyclone moved through the eastern United States, causing significant winds, heavy rains east of the Appalachians, and blizzard conditions along the western slopes of the mountain chain in November of 1950. Ohio experienced blizzard conditions, with the highest report of snow from Steubenville of 44 inches. The whole state experienced at least 10 inches of snowfall and gusts of wind up to 60 miles per hour. (But that didn't stop us from having the OSU vs. Michigan game, AKA "the Snow Bowl.")
4) 1965 Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak
Ohio was just one of many states that suffered from the third deadliest tornado swarm in the United States, which consisted of 47 tornados in less than 12 hours.
5) Cuyahoga River Fire
In June of 1969, this river caught fire for two hours as a result of oil-soaked debris ignited by either molten steel or a spark. Since then, (and previous river fires) river pollution hasn't been taken quite so lightly anymore. (Thankfully.)
6) The Great Blizzard of 1978
Also known as "The White Hurricane," this winter storm struck the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes for three full days in January of 1978. During this blizzard, the entire Ohio Turnpike was shut down for the first time ever and members of both the Ohio and Michigan National Guard were called in to assist stranded motorists and road crews.
What other natural disasters or environmental accidents have kept Ohioans on their toes?