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Disaster at Ottumwa, Iowa

the floods of June 6 -15, 1947

Leigh Michaels & Michael W. Lemberger

Within little more than a week in June, 1947, the Des Moines River flooded the city of Ottumwa, Iowa, twice. The 1947 floods proved a pivotal moment in Ottumwa's history, leading to a massive project to straighten the river's course, widen the channel, build protective levees, and repurpose land in the flood plain.

Shortly after the double disaster, a small spiral-bound book of flood photos was published. Few copies remain. This new edition includes all of the photos from the 1947 book, plus 50 additional photos of the flood, news stories, and maps. New captions add context and information to all the photographs.

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