Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER
Floodpath & Rubble
St. Francis Dam Disaster


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View looking south (downstream) between the dam and the Powerhouse No. 2 community at Stator Lane.

4x6-inch BW film transparency (larger than 4x5). The unknown photographer is standing just above the high water line.

Compare with this photo and this photo.

Construction on the 600-foot-long, 185-foot-high St. Francis Dam started in August 1924. With a 12.5-billion-gallon capacity, the reservoir began to fill with water on March 1, 1926. It was completed two months later.

At 11:57:30 p.m. on March 12, 1928, the dam failed, sending a 180-foot-high wall of water crashing down San Francisquito Canyon. An estimated 411 people lay dead by the time the floodwaters reached the Pacific Ocean south of Ventura 5½ hours later.

It was the second-worst disaster in California history, after the great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, in terms of lives lost — and America's worst civil engineering failure of the 20th Century.


DI2811: 9600 dpi jpeg from original 4x6-inch transparency purchased 2015 by Sharon Divis.
ST. FRANCIS FLOODPATH

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Geology (Nickell 1928)

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Geology (Elizondo 1953)

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Still Flowing 3/13/1928

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San Francisquito Cyn.

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Just Below Dam

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San Francisquito Cyn.

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Photo Gallery

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Ruiz Cemetery Area

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Lower S.F. Canyon

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Castaic Junction x3

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3 mi. West of Castaic Junction

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