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History of the Johnstown Flood
sionally across the flats could be seen the remains of a victim. The stench arising from the mud is sickening. Along the route were strewn tin utensils, pieces of machinery, iron pipes, and wares of every conceivable kind. In the midst of the wreck a clothing store dummy, with a hand in the position of beckoning to a person, stands erect and uninjured.
"It is impossible to describe the appearance of Main street. Whole houses have been swept down this one street and become lodged. The wreck is piled as high as the second-story windows. The reporter could step from the wreck into the auditorium of the opera house. The ruins consist of parts of houses, trees, saw logs and reels from the wire factory. Many houses have their side walls and roofs torn up, and one can walk directly into what had been second-story bed-rooms, or go in by way of the top. Further up town a raft of logs lodged in the street, and did great damage. At the beginning of the wreckage, which is at the opening of the valley of the Conemaugh, one can look up the valley for miles and not see house. Nothing stands but an old woolen mill.
"Charles Luther is the name of the boy who stood on an adjacent elevation and saw the whole flood. He said he heard a grinding noise far up the valley, and looking up he could see a dark line moving slowly toward him. He saw that it
30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen