Johnstown Local Flood Protection Project

Johnstown, PA

Following yet another a disastrous flood in 1936, the Army Corps of Engineers undertook a five-year project (1938-1943) to create deep paved channels for the Little Conemaugh and Stonycreek rivers as they pass through Johnstown. While the project was a technical success and the channels were subsequently only overtopped once (in the massive 1977 flood), the channels transform these lovely mountain streams into unappealing concrete canyons, creating a questionable aesthetic in a town that now attempts to promote itself as a tourist destination.

The orange-brown quality of the water in the Little Conemaugh due to upstream acidic discharges from abandoned mines. While a watershed protection project succeeded in cleaning up similar pollution in the Stonycreek River, a similar effort for the Little Conemaugh faces significant technical and economic hurdles.

Johnstown Local Flood Protection Project - Little Conemaugh River
11/05/2008 15:02:38
Little Conemaugh River
Johnstown Local Flood Protection Project - Polluted water in the Little Conemaugh
11/05/2008 15:00:58
Polluted water in the Little Conemaugh
Johnstown Local Flood Protection Project - JLFPP historic marker
11/05/2008 15:01:27
JLFPP historic marker
Johnstown Local Flood Protection Project - The clear Stonycreek River passing under the Washington Street Bridge
11/05/2008 15:01:37
The clear Stonycreek River passing under the Washington Street Bridge
Johnstown Local Flood Protection Project - Washington Street Bridge / Stonycreek River
11/05/2008 15:01:43
Washington Street Bridge / Stonycreek River
Johnstown Local Flood Protection Project - Polluted water from the Little Conemaugh flowing into the clear Stonycreek River
11/05/2008 15:02:57
Polluted water from the Little Conemaugh flowing into the clear Stonycreek River
Johnstown Local Flood Protection Project - George Washington Memorial Trees (dedicated 1932)
11/05/2008 14:59:21
George Washington Memorial Trees (dedicated 1932)
Johnstown Local Flood Protection Project - Conemaugh Valley Flood Memorial (1940)
11/05/2008 15:00:16
Conemaugh Valley Flood Memorial (1940)

The role of government is to do for the people what they cannot do better for themselves. (Abraham Lincoln)