Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER
Red Cross Medical Shelter
Santa Paula


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Red Cross relief workers administer some type of medical treatment to a boy at a tent in Santa Paula following the St. Francis Dam Disaster of March 12-13, 1928.


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.


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RED CROSS RELIEF
St. Francis Dam Disaster Aftermath

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FILM: Red Cross Relief Center, Wreckage

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Newhall Soup Kitchen

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Santa Paula Hospital

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Red Cross Nurses

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Soup Line

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Soup Line

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Medical Care

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Tent Shelter

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