131 years later; Remembering the Johnstown flood

Local News

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — Sunday, May 31, marks the 131st Anniversary of the Great Johnstown Flood of Friday, May 31, 1889. Officials will commemorate those who lost their lives on that fateful day while ensuring the safety of visitors and staff.

Park grounds will be open from sunrise to sunset. At 3:10 PM, the approximate time the dam broke, they will be live on Facebook to talk about that moment in history.

At 4:07 PM, the time the flood reached Johnstown, Park Rangers will lay a commemorative wreath on the South Abutment on the remnants of the South Fork Dam. The wreath laying will be broadcast live on Facebook. A live shot of the area will take place on Facebook around sunset at 8:15 PM.

As a reminder, no account is needed to watch the Facebook live videos. The videos can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/JohnstownFloodNPS/. The videos will be available to stream after they are live.

Beginning at 7:00 PM, 2,209 luminaries, lining the remains of the South Fork Dam and around the park Visitor Center, will be lit in honor of the victims of the Great Flood. Each luminary will have the name of a flood victim written on it and will remain lit until 10:00 PM. 

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities the Visitor Center will be closed.

To ensure visitor and staff safety, there will be no shuttles to the North Abutment and the parking lot will be closed. Luminaries on the North Abutment will be visible from the Visitor Center parking lot and the South Abutment.

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