The Johnstown Flood - Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

David McCullough
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Chapter 5, "Run for your lives!" tells the harrowing story of the wave crashing into populous Johnstown proper with no warning. The deep, steady rumble approaching at 4:07 PM, sounds like an avalanche, thunder, an on-rushing train, or horses grinding oats, and is accompanied by shouting, screaming, buildings falling or ripping apart, glass shattering, factory whistles and church bells. Those who see the wall of water describe debris as large as locomotives tossed "like so much chaff." A dark spray, talked of later as an evil "death mist," hangs over the front - like dust raised by a great fire, a cavalry charge, or an explosion. The Gautier boiler explosion accounts for much of it, which Rose witnesses from his third-floor window. He figures his family has 2-3 minutes to act or be crushed to death. The wave is at least...

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This section contains 2,286 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Johnstown Flood Study Guide
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