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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.