Johnstown, PA Flood, May 1889
The impression is gaining that the disclosures yet to come where the gorge collected and which is now burning over an area of several acres are yet more ghastly.
The awfulness of the scenes defies language to depict as it does the imagination to conceive of. Without seeing the sad havoc created no idea can be given either of the area or the extent of the damage.
It is impossible to narrate the many pathetic incidents that occurred on all sides.
At Morrell forty-five bodies were laid out waiting to be identified. Eight of them were children, one that of a child which a physician said had been born while the mother was fighting for her life in the raging flood.
At Nineveh, nine miles down the stream, 106 bodies, mostly women and children, were laid out in a saw mill, and additions were being made by wagon loads at a time which were being picked up on the meadows, over which the great tide had surged with the fury of a demon.
Many were found with their hands yet clinging tenaciously to branches of trees amid shrubs. In one case a young couple were found locked in each other's arms. In another case a mother was found with a child clasped in each arm and held closely to her bosom.
THROUGH TO JOHNSTOWN.
Efforts To Reach The Unfortunate City Finally Successful.
Pittsburg, June 2. -- The first force of rescuers and press representatives, who have been making every effort for several days to gain an entrance into the valley in which was located the city of Johnstown, accomplished their purpose just as the light of Sunday morning's sun broke over the mountain tops surrounding the place of desolation. The news received in this city confirms in almost every detail all of the gravest fears, statements and conjectures that have been entertained. All reports received agree that the city is literally a ruin, the description of which is simply impossible.
From Johnstown to Mineral Point tower the Pennsylvania road bed has been completely swept away. For a distance of one fourth mile the road in uninjured, them comes another complete wreck to a point above South Fork.
Twenty-seven Pennsylvania railroad locomotives and an unknown number of both freight cars and passenger coaches are lying in the river bed under the debris at Johnstown, at the stone bridge.
The towns of Woodville and Conemaugh borough, above Johnstown, are swept as clearly off the face of the earth as if they had never had an existence.
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