On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam fourteen miles upstream of Johnstown, Pennsylvania broke after several days of extremely heavy rainfall. For about an hour, 20 million tons of water tore through the town in a 40-foot wall. The torrent splashed off mountains on one side of the city and catapulted back taking only 10 minutes to destroy 1,600 homes, 280 businesses and to leave one of every 15 residents dead. Bodies were found more than 100 miles away in Ohio. The death toll was calculated at 2,209 people making the disaster the largest loss of civilian life in the United States up to that time. Could this flood have been prevented, did the town ever recover, and how did this disaster change liability law in the United States? A flood of answers await.