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History of the Johnstown Flood
waters checked here, formed a vast whirlpool, which destroyed everything within its circle. It backed up on the other side of the triangle, and devastated the village of Kernville, across the river from Johnstown.
The force of the current was truly appalling. The best evidence of its force is exhibited in the mass of debris south of the Pennsylvania bridge. Persons on the hillsides declare that houses, solid from their foundation stones, were rushed on to destruction at the rate of thirty miles an hour. On one house forty persons were counted; their cries for help were heard far above the roaring waters. At the railroad bridge the house parted in the middle, and the cries of the unfortunate people were smothered in the engulfing waters.
At the Cambria Iron Works a huge hickory struck the south brick wall of the rolling mill at an angle, went through it and the west wall, where it remains. A still more extraordinary incident is seen at the foot-bridge of the Pennsylvania station, on the freight track built for the Cambria Iron works. The sunken track and bridge are built in a curve. In clearing out the track the Cambria workmen discovered two huge bridge trusses intact, the large one 30 feet long and 10 feet high. It lay close to the top of the bridge and had been driven into the cut at least 50 feet.
It was with an impulse to the right side of the
30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen