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Floods of July 19-20, 1977 in the Johnstown area, western Pennsylvania

Open-File Report 78-963

Prepared in cooperation with the Pennsylvania.Department of Environmental Resources and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Pittsburgh District
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Abstract

Intense rainfall on the evening of July 19 and early morning hours of July 20, 1977, resulted in moderate to record flooding throughout much of an eight-county area of southwest Pennsylvania. In a 400-square-mile area directly north and east of Johnstown, rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches were measured in a six to eight-hour period. Flood peaks having recurrence intervals greater than 100 years were recorded at several sites, primarily in the Conemaugh River basin. Runoff rates were as high as 2,390 cubic feet per second per square mile, in a 5.86-square-mile drainage area in the Little Conemaugh River basin. The Conemaugh River at Seward, which drains 715 square miles, had a peak discharge of 161 cubic feet per second per square mile. The flood waters claimed at least 78 lives and caused total losses in excess of $300 million. Also, seven earthfill dams, used mainly for water supply in the Johnstown area, failed. This report describes the storm and the associated flooding. A tabulation of peak gage heights and discharges for the July 1977 flood and for the maximum flood previously known is included for 57 sites. Data pertaining to the dams that failed are included also. (Woodard-USGS)

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Floods of July 19-20, 1977 in the Johnstown area, western Pennsylvania
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
78-963
Year Published:
1978
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Harrisburg, PA
Description:
viii, 62 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Pennsylvania
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
N