Keystone Crossroads

Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania is hundreds of miles from the boardwalk and the beach, but mere steps from the Susquehanna River. And while no one has made a reality show about this sleepy town yet, they do share one similarity with their namesake: flooding.

Johnstown Area Heritage Association

On May 31, 1889 the South Fork dam in Cambria County failed, sending a flood wave through Johnstown that killed 2,209 people.

After a month of rain, a particularly heavy storm hit Johnstown on May 30, filling the streets with a couple feet of water by noon the next day. Flooding was nothing new, though: The city was built on a floodplain, at the base of mountains denuded by industry, at the confluence of three rivers. So people moved to their upper floors to wait.

County, state and federal teams will finish conducting damage assessments Friday afternoon after flash floods and severe weather plagued the Pittsburgh region.

Alvin Henderson, chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services, said he and his teams are trying to restore a sense of normalcy.

“We’re working as quickly as we can to try to collect this data so we can find out what forms of assistance we’re hopefully going to be able to receive,” he said.

Assessment teams first visited areas hardest hit by the flooding.