Given the concern over the Oroville Dam, let’s not underestimate the danger. We can look to history for how bad this can become.
3 minutes before midnight on 12 March 1928, the St. Francis Dam, north of Los Angeles, failed.
Designed by William Mulholland, a self-taught engineer, the story of why the dam failed is in my short nonfiction book, which is free for download here.
It’s curious to note there is a sister dam just like it, the Mulholland Dam in LA, holding the Hollywood Reservoir. While it was greatly reinforced after the St. Francis disaster, it’s something to think about.
Never underestimate the power of water.
Here are some more images from the disaster. Mulholland at the site of the collapse the day after:
And below is the dam before