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Road work after the flood resulting from the failure of the Saint Francis Dam, Santa Clara River Valley (Calif.), 1928
Date Created and/or Issued
March 1928
Publication Information
Los Angeles Times
Contributing Institution
UCLA, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives
Rights Information
Access to this collection is generously supported by Arcadia funds.
The St. Francis Dam was a 200-foot high concrete gravity-arch dam built between 1924 and 1926 in St. Francisquito Canyon (near present-day Castaic and Santa Clarita). The dam collapsed on March 12, 1928 at two and a half minutes before midnight. The resulting flood killed up to 600 people, making it the 2nd greatest loss of life in California after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It is considered the worst American civil engineering failure in the 20th century.
Temporary roads providing access to the towns in the flood path were rapidly constructed in the days following the flood.
View of a power shovel with a clamshell bucket loading dirt onto a dump truck. A workman is in the cab of the dump truck, and workmen are standing behind the dump truck on the left, one with a shovel. A man wearing a suit is half visible behind the dump truck on the right. A donkey engine is in the middle ground. Additional workmen engaged in bridge construction of repair are visible in the background.
Text from negative sleeve: Saint Francis Dam
b&w nitrate negative
No linguistic content
Disaster relief--California--Santa Clara River Valley
Donkey engines--California--Santa Clara River Valley
Saint Francis Dam Failure, Calif., 1928
Dump trucks--California--Santa Clara River Valley
Road construction--California--Santa Clara River Valley
Power shovels--California--Santa Clara River Valley
Los Angeles Times Photographic Collection

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