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The Johnstown Flood (locally, the Great Flood of 1889) occurred on May 31, 1889, after the catastrophic failure of the South Fork Dam on the Little Conemaugh River 14 miles upstream of the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The dam broke after several days of extremely heavy rainfall, unleashing 20 million tons of water from the reservoir known as Lake Conemaugh. With a volumetric flow rate that temporarily equalled that of the Mississippi River, the flood killed 2,209 people and caused US$17 million of damage (about $450 million in 2015 dollars).

The American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton and with 50 volunteers, undertook a major disaster relief effort. Support for victims came from all over the United States and 18 foreign countries. After the flood, survivors suffered a series of legal defeats in their attempts to recover damages from the dam's owners. Public indignation at that failure prompted the development in American law changing a fault-based regime to strict liability.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnstown_Flood#External_links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Fork_Fishing_and_Hunting_Club