The Johnstown Flood of 1977

The city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania and several nearby communities suffered severe flooding in the summer of 1977. The Conemaugh, the Little Conemaugh, and the Stony Creek Rivers all merge to flow directly through the heart of the town. In a seven hour period during the night of July 19-20, 1977, at least 12 inches of rain fell in the mountainous region around Johnstown. The flood swept through the area, resulting in the deaths of 77 people and damage in excess of $200 million.

I was 19 years old at the time and living in nearby Altoona, Pennsylvania. My ham (amateur) radio callsign back then was "WA3WEE". Needless to say, ham radio played a very important role during this disastrous event as most normal lines of communications were out of service. As bad as the flood of 1977 was, it pales in comparison to the Johnstown flood of 1889. The Johnstown flood of 1889 was one of the worst disasters in United States history. To learn more about the Johnstown flood of 1889, please CLICK HERE.

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