The Ice Gorge of 1936 is remembered as the worst in Evansville's history. Shawn Robey, a student at F.J. Reitz High School, and Mary Ruth Oakley, a resident during the time of the Ice Gorge, provide historical & personal accounts of that fateful time in February 1936.
Ships were told to prepare for low temperatures, and people began to anticipate the gorge's arrival with curiosity and worry. The ice gorge began to form on February 12th, 1936 near Uniontown, Kentucky, and reached Evansville on February 17th. By the 18th of February, the river had reached the flood stage & acted as a floating levee filling the streets with water and ice. The ice gorge wrecked walkways on the river's shore and displaced boats on the Ohio River, reaching a length of 90 miles by February 20th. The predicted destruction was avoided when the gorge started to break up on the 24th of February.