For a week in March 1982, the nation's eyes were focused on Fort Wayne when a major flood, the likes of which the city had seen only once before, tore through its heart. Heavy winter snow accumulations, a rapid early-March thaw, and rain combined to cause the flooding. When it was over, about 9,000 people had fled their homes. Damage reached $56.1 million. Heroic rescue efforts and a massive group of volunteer sandbaggers led to Fort Wayne becoming known as The City That Saved Itself.