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Ruthless Tide: The Heroes and Villains of the Johnstown Flood


By John M. Malecky December, 2019

Ruthless Tide: The Heroes and Villains of the Johnstown Flood
By Al Roker

Available wherever books are sold

Price: $16.19 (soft cover)

This book that was reviewed is a soft cover, measuring 5 ½ inches by 9 inches, and it contains 370 pages. It is a tragic, true story about a deluge of rain that fell on May 31st, 1889 that dropped almost a foot of water in under 24 hours. This took place in Central Pennsylvania and the result of it became the deadliest in our history.

The flood it caused quickly destroyed Johnstown, a town with a population of 20,000. It raised the Little Conemaugh River and threatened the South Fork Dam. The dam was built to make a private lake for a hunting and fishing club. Many of the rich industrialists belonged to this club. Names such as Andrew Carnegie are mentioned, as well as others. The dam was controversial, as some thought it was not constructed well enough.

The pages in the 14 chapters and epilogue detail the horror of this event, including death and miraculous endings intertwined. The stories of many families affected are written and will keep the reader in suspense.

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John MaleckySenior Columnist

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