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pushed my way up, and read that the waters were so high in the Conemaugh that it was feared the three-mile dam, as it was called, would give way. I know enough about Johnstown to feel that my life was not worth a snap once that dam gave way. Although the Johnstown people did not seem to pay much attention to the warning, I was nervous and apprehensive. I had several parties to see, but concluded to let all but one go until some later day. So I hurried through with my most urgent transactions and started for the depot. The Conemaugh had then gotten so high that the residents of the low-lying districts had moved into upper stories. I noticed a number of wagons filled with furniture hurrying through the streets, A few families, with apprehensive of the impending calamity or driven from their houses by the rising waters, had started for the surrounding hills. Johnstown, you know, lies in a narrow valley, and lies principally on the V-shaped point between the converging river and Stony Creek.
    "I was walking up the steps to the depot when I heard a fearful roar up the valley. It sounded at first like a heavy train of cars, but soon became too loud and terrible for that. I boarded a train, and as I sat at the car window a sight broke before my view that I will remember to my dying day. Away up the Conemaugh came a yellow wall, whose crest was white and frothy. I

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen