Johnstown’s Flood of 1889

Power Over Truth and The Science Behind the Disaster

  • Neil M. Coleman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Neil M. Coleman
    Pages 1-6
  3. Neil M. Coleman
    Pages 15-31
  4. Neil M. Coleman
    Pages 33-48
  5. Neil M. Coleman
    Pages 49-74
  6. Neil M. Coleman
    Pages 75-83
  7. Neil M. Coleman
    Pages 151-171
  8. Neil M. Coleman
    Pages 173-186
  9. Neil M. Coleman
    Pages 187-190
  10. Neil M. Coleman
    Pages 215-226
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 227-256

About this book


Science now reveals the true cause of the dam breach flood that destroyed Johnstown in 1889.  The tragic loss of more than 2200 lives was preventable; the initial investigation of the flood was hijacked, delayed, and distorted by powerful members of the industrial elite. This book bridges the gap between history and science, reexamining eyewitness accounts of the flood and historic documents about the investigation, and applying new LiDAR, GPS, and hydraulic studies to solve the mystery – what caused the Great Flood of 1889?  The book includes a notable chapter on the “sister” of the South Fork Dam, “The Forgotten Dam” at Hollidaysburg, PA.


South Fork Dam j. Wesley Powell Johnstown Flood 1889 Great Flood Dam Breach Dam Safety

Authors and affiliations

  • Neil M. Coleman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Energy and Earth ResourcesUniversity of Pittsburgh at JohnstownJohnstownUSA

Bibliographic information