The most devastating summer flooding in Ohio history struck
north-central Ohio during the states stormiest Independence
Day in 1969.
Severe thunderstorms moved from Lake Erie into north coast communities
at about 8 PM on July 4th. This line of storms became nearly stationary
for eight hours from Toledo southeast through Fremont, Norwalk,
Ashland, and Wooster.
Severe weather developed over Lake Erie after 6 PM and moved south
toward the Ohio shore with strong winds, heavy rain, and intense
17 people died, over 500 were injured, more than 10,000 homes were
damaged and 104 small businesses were destroyed.
Most of the damage from the July 4th storms resulted from extreme
rainfall that fell overnight. Total rainfall was 10 to 14 inches
from Ottawa County to Wayne County. On the flat, poorly drained
land of Ottawa and Sandusky Counties, fields were flooded as far
as the eye could see.
Record floods were reached on the Huron River, the Vermilion River,
and the Black River. Most sections of Ashland and Wayne Counties
were flooded and isolated for two days after the flood. Killbuck
Creek in Holmes County rose 20 feet to its highest known level