And 47 years later
...... another disaster

Johnstown’s second disastrous flood struck on March 17, 1936 causing the much greater property loss of fifty million dollars. Melting snow and ice from the surrounding hills and a steady rain caused a gradual rise of the Conemaugh and Stonycreek rivers, that rose to 18" in an hour.

When the swollen rivers started overflowing their banks onto the streets, a general flood warning was issued a 3 p.m. Cameraman Gore had on hand a thousand feet of Fox Movietone negative and started out to film an exclusive flood story. Accompanied by his sister, Mrs. Sheldon Corle, whom Mr. Gore was visiting, they went to see the rapidly rising Stonycreek River. The first scenes filmed were of the Stonycreek river as it spilled over onto the Valley Pike near the Masonic temple.

As the water rapidly rose, the Valley Pike became part of the widened river. Traffic was at a standstill. Over in Moxham, water covered the street. A few boys wearing boots were wading across Central Avenue. No other traffic could be seen. Water rapidly rose higher on Horner St. Cars were stalled and half emerged in water. Drivers already had waded to a higher level for safety.

The spilled-over Stonycreek, now had stopped all traffic in the area. Just as on the night of May 31, 1889, half of the population of Johnstown went to the hills.

For a time lights dotted city buildings, where many office workers were stranded for the night. The Inclined Plane was busy taking passengers to the Westmont hilltop, until Vine and Johns Streets became flooded. During the long night, telegraph lines were washed out, and the electric light plant was flooded putting Johnstown in total darkness. The flood reached its peak at midnight and thereafter gradually receded. Water was at a height of 14 feet at the public safety building.

All night the nation and world was wondering about the fate of the flooded City of Johnstown. Earlier, amateur radio reporters gave out what meager news they could get, as worried families trapped in their homes, listened to their radios.

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