Greater Johnstown Flood Victims - Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member outdoorboy34
N 40° 19.526 W 078° 55.086
17T E 676870 N 4465957
Quick Description: This citizens' memorial is dedicated to those victims in the Greater Johnstown Area who perished in the July 20, 1977 flood. The memorial is located in Central Park in downtown Johnstown, Cambria County, Pennsylvania.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 9/15/2012 7:22:36 PM
Waymark Code: WMF9NZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cldisme
Views: 1

Long Description:
About the Johnstown 1977 Flood - Excerpted by the Johnstown Flood Museum Website:
A line of severe thunderstorms stalled over Johnstown on July 20, 1977, dropping as much as a foot of rain in some areas. Small streams - Solomon's Run, Sam's Run, Peggy's Run - carved new channels and smashed through expressways, apartment buildings, factories and homes. An earthen water supply dam collapsed at Laurel Run Reservoir, one of several dams that failed. The waters overflowed the channel system in Johnstown that was to have left the city "flood-free." However, according to later estimates by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the water level could have been as much as 11 feet higher if the channel system had never been built. The Red Cross, Salvation Army, other non-profit agencies, the state and federal governments, and private individuals rushed to help. On July 21, President Jimmy Carter declared the worst-hit counties a federal disaster area (Cambria, Somerset, Indiana, Bedford, Westmoreland, Clearfield, and Jefferson; a few days later, Blair was added). The National Guard was mobilized, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arrived to assist in debris removal and demolition of non-salvageable buildings. The death toll would reach 85, while property damages reached the $300 million mark. Hundreds of people were left homeless, and took shelter in churches, schools, fire halls and even dormitories at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. After the immediate crisis was over, many small trailer home parks were established to accommodate those left homeless. Over the next year, the federal government spent some $200 million in the area, rebuilding damaged public facilities and lending funds or giving grants to property owners for repairs and construction. The 1977 flood was a blow to Johnstown's increasingly fragile economy. Many downtown firms damaged by the flood did not reopen or moved to the suburbs. Employment at Bethlehem Steel dropped by 4,000. Between 1970 and 1980, the city's population dropped from 42,221 to 34,221, a 19.4% decline, and the 1977 flood is a major reason why.

Marker Text:
“A people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light: to them who live in the region of the shadow of death, a light has risen.” Isaiah 9:2

(Names, ages, and residence of the 78 people who died are listed on the monument)

This monument erected through gifts of the school children
1979 International Year of the Child.

Erected 1979 by Local Schoolchildren, the Greater Johnstown Clergy Association, and the Southern Allegheny Flood Recovery Association.
Disaster Date: 7/20/1977

Date of dedication: 1/1/1979

Memorial Sponsors: Local Schoolchildren, Greater Johnstown Clergy Asosciation, Southern Allegheny Flood Recovery Association

Parking Coordinates: N 40° 19.502 W 078° 54.974

Disaster Type: Natural

Relevant Website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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