Pat Shingleton: "Floods and Lightning..."
Following the Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood of 1889, a flood control system was constructed in the Little Conemaugh Valley to withstand a 100 year flood. Experts declared that the city of Johnstown was flood-proof. On July 19, 1977 in West Taylor Township, northwest of Johnstown, a foot of rain fell and the Laurel Dam burst. The deluge was once again heading for Johnstown with a wall of water in its wake. The second Johnstown Flood in 88 years caused $325 million in damage in seven counties and killed 77. On a hillside above the city white crosses mark the graves of 777 unidentified dead from the flood of 1889, corresponding exactly to the month and year of the second-worst flood in Johnstown’s history. On July 18, 1689, lightning zapped the altar in the church of Saint-Sauveur, in Ligny, France. Fifty witnesses watched a statue of Christ levitate. Altar cloths were scorched and curtains were blown off their rings but the rings remained on the rod. In 1812, in Combe Hay, Somerset, U.K. six sheep were killed by lightning and witnesses noticed tattooed pictures of the landscape on their skin. Two similar incidents occurred in Greece where a sailor, struck by lightning, had a shadow graph of the number 44 on his body, attached to a nearby rigging. Another sailor in the Adriatic was hit while sitting below the mast. Imprinted on his groin was the image of a horseshoe, nailed to the foremast.