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THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD. 49

says just such have been sent down at each flood since the lake was made. The warning so often proved useless that little attention was paid to it this time. “I cannot describe the mad rush,” he said, “At first it looked like dust. That must have been the spray. I could see houses going down before it like a child's play, blocks set on edge in a row. As it came nearer I could see houses totter for a moment, then rise and the next moment be crushed like egg shells, against each other.”
    Mr. John G. Parke, of Philadelphia, a civil engineer, was at the dam superintending some improvements in the drainage system at the lake. He did all he could with the help of a gang of laborers to avert the catastrophe and to warn those in danger. His story of the calamity is this:--
    “For several days prior to the breaking of the dam, storm after storm swept over the mountains and flooded every creek and rivulet. The waters from these varied sources flowed into the lake, which finally was not able to stand the pressure forced upon it. Friday morning I realized the danger that was threatened, and although from that time until three o'clock every human effort was made to prevent a flood, they were of no avail. When I at last found that the dam was bound to go, I started out to tell the people, and


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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen