If you know anything about Johnstown, you’ve heard of the Great Flood of 1889. After torrential downpours drenched the steel-making town on May 31 that year, 20 million tons of water crashed through the South Fork Dam at Lake Conemaugh 14 miles upstream of the city. What followed remains Pennsylvania’s deadliest disaster.When the poorly maintained dam broke in late afternoon, it sent a rolling hill of water and debris moving with the force of Niagara Falls toward the city, flattening everything in its path. By the time the floodwaters receded, more than 2,200 people were dead. Many perished in a subsequent fire that raged through the tons of accumulated debris, which included entire houses.It’s a tragic tale that sticks with you, but it’s also a story that’s ultimately inspiring, say organizers of Cambria County’s Path of the Flood Historic Races, which follow the route of the flood through the Little Conemaugh Valley.