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


Jumping to the windows, we saw the water rushing down the streets in immense volumes, carrying with it houses, barns, and worst of all, screaming, terrified men, women, and children. In my house were Colonel A. N. Hart, who is my uncle, his wife, sister, and two children. They watched their chance, and when a slowly moving house passed by they jumped to the roof and by careful maneuvering managed to reach Dr. S. M. Swan's house, a three-story brick building, where there were about two hundred other people. I jumped on to a tender of an engine as it floated down and reached the same house. All the women and children were hysterical, most of the men were paralyzed by terror, and to describe the scene is simply impossible. From the windows of this house we threw ropes to persons who floated by on the roofs of houses, and in this way we saved several.
    "Our condition in the house was none of the pleasantest. There was nothing to eat; it was impossible to sleep, even had any one desired to do so; when thirsty we were compelled to catch the rain-water as it fell from the roof and drink it. Other people had gone for safety in the same manner as we had to two other brick houses, H. Y. Hawse's residence and Alma Hall's, and they went through precisely the same experience as he did. Many of our people were badly injured

Previous page Title Page Contents Image Index Next page

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