Pat Shingleton: "The Little Conemaugh River..."
On May 31, 1889, heavy rains brought the Little Conemaugh River in Pennsylvania to bank full. The force of the river blasted through the South Fork Dam and funneled a wall of water 40 feet high at 22 feet per second into Johnstown, killing 2,100 people, leveling trees, houses and buildings in its path. Venice, Italy, is called the world's most serene city. Because of flooding, ancient buildings are dissolving and in 2003 they launched "Project Moses." Three inlets to the lagoon that surround Venice are now fitted with sixty foot, hollow steel gates. The gates lie flat on the sea floor and when high tide threatens, the gates will rise on hinges and block the flood. In addition to the virus that plagued Italy, this year the gates could not retain the massive rain that impacted the city.