You are here:  Cambria > Books > History of the Johnstown Flood

94 THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD.

in corners in the banks. A large sycamore tree in the river between Sang Hollow and New Florence seemed to draw into it nearly all who floated down, and they went under the surface at its roots like lead. When the waters subsided two hundred and nine bodies were found at the root of this tree. All night the living and the dead floated by New Florence. At Pittsburg seventy-eight bodies were found on Saturday, and as many more were seen floating by. Hundreds of people from ill-fated Johnstown are wandering homeless and starving on the mountain-side. Very few saved anything, and I saw numbers going down the stream naked. The suffering within the next few days will be fearful unless prompt relief is extended."
    H. M. Bennett and S. W. Keltz, engineer and conductor of engine No. 1,165, an extra freight, which happened to be lying at South Fork when the dam broke, tell a graphic story of their wonderful flight and escape on the locomotive before the advancing flood. At the time mentioned Bennett and Keltz were in the signal tower at that point awaiting orders. The fireman and flagman were on the engine, and two brakemen were asleep in the caboose. Suddenly the men in the tower heard a loud booming roar in the valley above them. They looked in the direction of the sound, and were almost transfixed with horror to


Previous page Title Page Contents Image Index Next page

Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
Copyright 2001, All Rights Reserved
Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen