LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In January 1937, The Great Flood covered much of Louisville.

Jane Jacobs was 11 years old, and she's still flooded with memories from 81 years ago. Jacobs remembers how word spread fast of catastrophic flooding in west Louisville, where her grandparents lived.

"There was no way to get there," she said. "And of course, in 1937, very few people had telephones."

So Jacobs' dad went to check on the family. They lived in a two-story home with an attic.

"It was my grandma and my granddaddy and my aunt Mildred," Jacobs said. "They moved up from the first floor to the second floor."

Water continued to rise, Jacobs said, almost to the attic.

"It had a small window. and so the boats now were coming, going down and evacuating people as they could," she said.

Her grandpa and aunt were able to make it into the rescue boat.

"Then they tried to get grandma out," Jacobs said. "She's about my height, but she was fat. But she was beautiful, had beautiful white hair and was so pretty, and they couldn't get her through that little bitty window."

Jacobs says rescue crews had to return with an axe.

"It took them forever with an axe to make that window big enough for grandma," Jacobs laughed.

Family members were dropped off at the railroad station where they were taken to nearby states until the Great Flood waters subsided.

"That was the flood to remember," Jacobs said.

After the flood, a 29-mile flood wall was built around the city, which still protects it today.

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