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The Worst United States Man-Made Disasters

Jennie Wood

St. Francis Dam Disaster
st francis dam disasters
From 1924 through 1926 the St. Francis Dam was built and designed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the regulation and storage of a reservoir for the city. Construction of the dam was headed by the department's Chief Engineer and General Manager, William Mulholland, yes, the guy for whom the famous road, Mulholland Drive, was named. Two years after the dam was finished, on March 12, 1928, it collapsed, causing a flood that killed at least 431 people in Santa Paula, California. The disaster ended Mulholland's career.
The St. Francis Dam disaster remains the second greatest loss of life in California, second only to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It is also considered one of the worst American civil engineering disasters.
Photo source: AP Photo
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