This was the headline from The Pittsburg Post on June 1, 1889:
"Words fail to picture the awful truth of last night's flood. The loss of life reaches into thousands. It cannot be stated more definitely at this time. Johnstown, with its suburbs of Cambria City and Conemaugh borough, having a population of 80,000, are about annihilated. Conemaugh, Woodville, South Fork, and other places, having a combined population of 6,000, are absolutely destroyed. The flood came on so suddenly from the burst embankment of Conemaugh Lake that most of these people must have been caught by the waters."
"The scenes of wreck are indescribable, and the stories of despair of the agonized and helpless victims are pitiful in the extreme."