The johnstown flood the south fork dam collapses on this day in 1889 causing a flood in johnstown pennsylvania that kills more than 2200 people johnstown is 60 miles east of pittsburgh in a . The south fork dam failed on friday may 31 1889 and unleashed 20000000 tons of water that devastated johnstown pa the flood killed 2209 people but it brought the nation and the world together to aid the johnstown sufferers. Graced by david mcculloughs remarkable gift for writing richly textured sympathetic social history the johnstown flood is an absorbing classic portrait of life in nineteenth century america of overweening confidence of energy and of tragedy it also offers a powerful historical lesson for our century and all times the danger of . The johnstown flood locally the great flood of 1889 occurred on may 31 1889 after the catastrophic failure of the south fork dam on the little conemaugh river 14 miles 23 km upstream of the town of johnstown pennsylvania
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