Buildings damaged by Johnstown Flood, 1889

Buildings damaged by Johnstown Flood, 1889

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Buildings damaged by Johnstown Flood. General view of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA, looking towards Kernville, after the Johnstown Flood of 1899. On 31 May 1889, following heavy rains, the South Fork Dam failed on the Little Conemaugh River, 23 kilometres upstream from Johnstown. The failure occurred at 15:10 local time, releasing millions of tons of water from the dam's reservoir (Lake Conemaugh). Around an hour later, a wall of debris and water engulfed Johnstown, travelling at around 60 kilometres per hour. Debris piled up against Stone Bridge and caught fire. Over 2200 people died, the worst US disaster at that time. Photographed by US photographer Ernest Walter Histed (1862-1947).

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