A view of Johnstown, from the top of the Inclined Plane at Westmont, by William H. Rau. In the center of the scene is Johnstown Passenger station and The Cambria Iron Works, which later became Bethlehem Steel is at the far left.
The Johnstown Flood occurred on May 31, 1889. It was the result of the catastrophic failure of the South Fork Dam situated 14 miles upstream of the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, made worse by several days of extremely heavy rainfall. The dam's failure unleashed a torrent of 20 million tons of water. The flood killed over 2,200 people and caused 17 million dollars in damage.