Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Or login with Facebook
    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Imagery of 1939 flood on USACE Digital Library

    Imagery of 1939 flood on USACE Digital Library

    Courtesy Photo | Homes are flooded by the Cumberland River in Eddyville, Ky., Feb. 14, 1939. A family...... read more read more



    Story by Leon Roberts 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An old photo album with historical imagery from the February 1939 flood of the Cumberland River Basin is now available to the public on the Internet in the USACE Digital Library.

    Tammy Kirk, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District librarian, scanned more than 200 photos from the 1939 flood so that academics, members of the press, genealogists and local historians can research and utilize the images.

    “I have transcribed the caption information as well as textual information from the photos – mostly from signs,” Kirk said. “I also, for some of the photographs, provided some description. For example, some photos showed the Tennessee State Capital building in the background.”

    Kirk said these resources are entirely searchable to the public within the USACE Digital Library. Once the photos are recognized by search engines the items will be searchable on sites like Google as well, she added.

    Bob Sneed, Nashville District Water Management Section chief, said the flood crest in Nashville for the 1939 flood was about four feet lower than what the area experienced in May 2010. This historical unregulated flood event occurred before any of the modern dams were built in the Cumberland River Basin.

    “Based on some records I reviewed it would rank eighth for a list of peak stages that the National Weather Service maintains on their web site,” Sneed said. “This list of historic flood crests goes back more than 100 years.”

    Kirk added that the photos document the impact of one of the most severe floods in the district’s history, and making them available online helps viewers to learn more about their communities and the time period represented.

    To find the photos, navigate to the USACE Digital Library at Click on “photographs” then search “Cumberland River Basin 1939 Flood” using the quotation marks. The photos can be searched within the collection by adding “and” and a search term such as a city name.

    (The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at



    Date Taken: 11.06.2015
    Date Posted: 11.06.2015 15:59
    Story ID: 181230
    Location: NASHVILLE, TN, US 

    Web Views: 331
    Downloads: 0