The Ohio River has never been entirely tamed by the numerous flood control dams erected in the 1960’s. On Fri, 11 Dec 2009, the Ohio took a modern towboat to its bottom at Georgetown, PA. Two men on the sinking tug were rescued by another boat that fortunately happened to be working in the area. No injuries were reported.
According to local Georgetown reports, high winds created seven foot waves that swamped the towboat.
Severe weather often approaches Georgetown down the Little Beaver Creek gorge which empties into the Ohio River opposite Georgetown. The Little Beaver Creek is a protected wild and scenic area listed in the National Scenic River Registry. It is an exceptionally clean water system that supports a number of endangered amphibians. The Sandy and Beaver Canal, which was designed in 1828 to connect the Ohio River to Lake Erie and completed in 1848, followed the creek up the gorge. Winds flow through the gorge intensifying their strength. That power unleashed on Georgetown has been the source of many fierce storms causing power outages and much damage.
The dangers of the Ohio during the Golden Age of Steamboating long before the first dams had been built I can only imagine.