The Johnstown Flood - Study Guide Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

David McCullough
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Chapter 4, "Rush of the torrent," describes the dramatic advance of the great wall of mud and debris through four communities before slamming into Johnstown. Much of it is given to describing and explaining how the varied topography of the valley makes the onslaught a constantly changing but ever destructive phenomenon. Miners and anyone living on a creek in springtime understands basic hydraulics, but no one is prepared for what happens when Lake Conemaugh leaps out like a living thing at treetop level. The lake empties in 36-45 minutes, creating a rush of water rivaling Niagara Falls in velocity and depth. Huge trees snap off or are uprooted and plunge away as the hill opposite the dam is scraped bare for 50 feet up. The torrent picks up natural and manmade debris, including George Fisher's place and little Lamb's Bridge. The valley then turns sharply...

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This section contains 1,823 words
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Buy The Johnstown Flood Study Guide
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