In the hands of the South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club, the dam was actually lowered by 2-3 feet to make it wide enough for two carriages to pass. The Club filled the dam so that it held 62-65 feet of water. The rain began on the night of May 30, 1889. By the morning of May 31, 8-10 inches of rain had fallen. Colonel Elias J. Unger the Club president, making observations from his porch that morning, said, ‘It seemed as if the whole valley was under water.’ The young engineer John Parke had been hired on to oversee the installation of a sewage system for the Club. That morning he was sailing around the lake, taking measurements and making observations. Through his calculations, it was observed that the water in the dam was rising about an inch every 10 minutes. A team of about two dozen Italian immigrants had been hired to do the work of the installation of the sewage system. They had a camp near what is now the South Abutment. On the morning of May 31, they had a new work order: Save the South Fork Dam. A dozen were employed in trying to raise the level of the dam while the rest were trying, unsuccessfully, to dislodge all of the debris from the spillway. At around 11:00 that morning, Parke thought it would be a good idea to race to South Fork to sound an alarm, an alarm that many people either did not heed or take seriously.