Some other facts include:
• Bodies were found as far away as Cincinnati, and as late as 1911• 1,600 homes were destroye
• Four square miles of downtown Johnstown were completely destroyed • The pile of debris at the stone bridge covered 30 acres• The distance between the dam that failed and Johnstown was 14 miles.
• The dam contained 20 million tons of water befor
e it gave way, about the same amount of water as goes over Niagara Falls in 36 minutes.
• Flood lines were found as high as 89 feet above river level • The great wave measured 35
-40 feet high and hit Johnstown at 40 miles per hour
• The force of the f
lood swept several locomotives weighing 170,000 pounds as far as 4,800 feet
• $3,742,818.78 was collected for the Johnstown relief effort from within the U.S. and 18 foreign
99 entire families died, including 396 children
As you can see, the disaster of the South Fork Dam breaking was a huge deal not onlyfor the surrounding areas, but it was huge news across the nation. Next, I will discuss theproblems that caused the dam to break.
The South Fork Dam
The dam was 72 feet high and 931 feet long. Behind it was Lake Conemaugh, which wasabout 2 miles long, approximately 1 mile wide, and 60 feet deep near the dam. This lakecontained 20 million tons (or 4.8 billions gallons) of water. The dam had been recently bought