Johnstown Flood matched volume of Mississippi River

Johnstown Flood matched volume of Mississippi River

New work determines flow rate of the 1889 flood that was one of America's deadliest disasters

By Sid Perkins, 15:48 PM October 20, 2009

PORTLAND, Ore. — The devastating flow released when a dam burst upstream of Johnstown, Pa., in May 1889 transformed a small, normally tranquil river into a raging torrent that briefly rivaled the mighty Mississippi, a new study reveals.

Johnstown, which lies about 100 kilometers east of Pittsburgh, was a thriving coal- and iron-producing town in the years following the Civil War, says Carrie Davis Todd, a hydrologist at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Then, on the rainy afternoon...

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