Unnatural Disasters: Hurricane Ida, Western Wildfires and Carnegie’s Johnstown Flood

By Chris Fry

1889 was a long time ago, 132 years to be precise, spanning many generations. Yet the terrible Johnstown Pennsylvania flood of that year and the climate-change spawned firestorms in the West and the deadly hurricanes this year, particularly Hurricane Ida, link these disasters to a common source. All of these can be traced to the utter contempt that the “captains of industry”, the “wizards of high finance”, then and now,  have for the producers of all their wealth, the workers and oppressed.

Johnstown, Pennsylvania lies in a deep river gorge, deepest in the eastern U.S., in the Allegheny Mountain range. It is where the Stony Creek and Little Conemaugh rivers meet to form the Conemaugh River. During the U.S. industrial revolution, starting in the 1850’s, it became the site of the largest steel-making operations in the country, bigger than Pittsburgh or Cleveland.

Some of the steel plants in the area were owned and managed by super-wealthy Andrew Carnegie and his fellow parasite, Henry Clay Frick. These multi-millionaires (billionaires in today’s money) were the Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk of their day – using every corrupt method to create monopolies and being extremely anti-union….

Johnstown, PA flood of 1889
Johnstown, PA flood of 1889. | Photo: vintage.es

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