Remembering the Johnstown Flood - 125 years later

Written by The Associated Press | May 28, 2014 1:18 PM
johnstown flood.jpg

Courtesy of the National Park Service

(Pittsburgh) -- This weekend, officials in Pennsylvania plan to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the enormous Johnstown flood of 1889. It killed more than 2,200 people, and new research has helped explain why the deluge was so deadly.  

The disaster began May 31 when a huge dam collapsed about 15 miles upstream from the western Pennsylvania city. A 30-foot wall of water surged down the Little Conemaugh River Valley and swept away houses, barns, people and even locomotives.  

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown used ground-penetrating radar to analyze the dam site.

Their work suggests the dam was in worse shape than previously known. 

The National Park Service is holding free events Saturday and Sunday to mark the anniversary.

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