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Indiana and the Great Flood of 1913


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Indiana suffered enormous losses in the Great Flood of 1913, yet this disaster is largely forgotten. The combined tornado and flood barreled through Terre Haute, killing more than twenty. In Peru, 114 miles away, the circus lost most of its animals in the storm. At the southwestern corner of the state, a “sea of water,” as local papers put it, washed over Evansville, turning streets into canals. In the capital, levee failures left hundreds homeless and vulnerable to disease and famine. Pulling from archival photographs, newspapers and local accounts, Dr. Nancy M. Germano shares stories from across the state to reveal how Indiana’s history of settlement and development contributed to one of the state’s worst disasters.