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THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD. 75

area of the triangular space where the awful whirlpool revolved is said to be about four square miles. The area of the space covered by this smoking mass is sixty acres. The surface of the mass is now fifteen feet below the top of the bridge, and about thirty below the point on the bluff where the surface of the whirlpool lashed the banks. One ragged mass some distance above the bridge rises several feet above the general level, but with the exception the surface of the debris is level. It has burned off until it reached the water, and is smouldering on as the water gradually lowers. On the right bank, at about where was the highest water level, a detachments of the Pittsburg Fire Department is throwing two fitful streams of water down into the smoke, with the idea of gradually extinguishing the fire. In the immensity of the disaster with which they combat their feeble efforts seem like those of boys with squirt guns dampening a bon fire. About the sixty acres of burning debris, and too the left of it from where it begins to narrow toward Stony Creek Gap, there is a large area of level mud, with muddy streams wandering about in it. This tract of mud comprises all of the triangle except a thin fringe of buildings along the bluff on the Pennsylvania Railroad. A considerable number of houses stand on the high ground on the lower face of the central mountain and off


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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen