Sunday, March 12, 2017

[californiadisasters] 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster, Monday, 13 March 2017

"1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster" reminder
Monday, 13 March 2017
06:45 AM to 06:46 AM
(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time - Dublin / Edinburgh / Lisbon / London
Los Angeles / Ventura County
At 2 and 1/2 minutes before Midnight, the St. Francis Dam catastrophically collapsed. Located in San Francisquito Canyon above the city of Santa Clarita, built by the Los Angeles Bureau of Water Works, now know as LADWP, the collapse of the St. Francis Dam is considered the worst engineering disaster of the 20th century. The St. Francis Dam was of the curved-gravity design with off-centered abutments, 205 feet in height and 700 feet in length. At the time it was impounding a filled reservoir, 2.8 miles long which contained over 38,000 acre feet of water (12.4 billion gallons) weighing almost 52 million tons. Within 70 minutes post collapse in was empty. Within the canyon, the flood wave had a depth varying from 120 to 140 feet. Washing pieces of the dam, some which weighed more than ten thousand tons, over one half mile down stream. As the flood continued out of the canyon, it made it's way into the Santa Clara river channel, cutting a deadly path which ended 54 miles away. 5 hours and 27 minutes past the inception, it emptied into the Pacific Ocean near Montalvo, a small town in Ventura County. Before doing so, behind it the towns of Newhall, Piru, Fillmore, Saticoy and Santa Paula were devastated. A partial review of the records reflect an estimated 600 dead, 1200 homes and buildings totally destroyed, 450 damaged, 10 bridges washed out and over 23,500 acres of agricultural land destroyed. Unlisted was the extensive amount of damage to roads, railways and utilities. The frequently used estimated 600 deaths is now believed to be incorrect. More recent estimates put the number closer to 1000. This is due in part, to to the lower than now known number of immigrant, undocumented and transient workers along with others who, with their families, lived in the areas affected. Making this the second worst disaster, in terms of loss of life in California.
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