Remembering a Historic Flood

By U.S. Census Bureau, Special for  USDR

Following is the daily “Profile America” feature from the U.S. Census  Bureau:


Profile America — Wednesday, May 31st. While tornadoes and heatwaves often take more lives, flooding is a constant threat to life in America. One of the worst floods in U.S. history happened on this date in 1889 at Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the dangerous situation in California this past winter, torrential rains caused a nearby artificial lake to spill over and weaken its earthen dam. When the dam broke, it unleashed 20 million tons of water in a giant wave that roared through Johnstown, killing more than 2,300 people, and destroying the homes of thousands more. Nationally, an annual average of 82 deaths occurred in the years between 1986 and 2015. Currently, about 20,000 people make Johnstown their home. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at

Johnstown 1889 flood/accessed 3/18/2016:
Johnstown 1936 & 1977floods/accessed 3/18/2016:
Weather fatalities/accessed 3/8/2017:
Average toll/accessed 3/8/2017:

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotion of the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics and accounts drawn from cited non-Census sources are employed for illustrative or narrative purposes, and are not attested to by the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at (look for “Audio” in the “Library” pull-down  menu).

SOURCE U.S. Census  Bureau

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