Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

[Dam to be Toppled to Earth][Dam Crumbles]

Dam To Be Toppled to Earth

The Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise
A.B. Thatcher, Editor

Thursday, April 18, 1929

T
the work of destroying the reminant of the great St. Francis dam is going on rapidly, and in a short time, the charges of dynamite that will topple it into a big pit will be fired.
    The work is interesting. Two tunnels, extending into the structure 43 feet, are being blasted from the up-stream side. They are about 20 feet wide, and eight or ten feet in height. Between them and at each end is a pillar left to support the great 180 foot structure. When the drilling of the tunnels is complete, the middle and end supports will be drilled full of small holes into which the final charges will be placed. When everything is ready the charges will be set off, all at once, by means of an electric battery. It is expected that this will completely pulverize the three supports, and that the dam will then topple over.
    Many persons are watching the work with interest, and will try to be in the finish.
    Los Angeles firemen, who have considerable work to do in the line of destroying buildings or walls with explosives, have been working in experiments on the long west wing which was left standing at the time the dam went out.
    Of course the work has been carefully figured as to results, but there is some speculation as to what may happen, in case something goes wrong. Of course no one will be in danger when the first charge is fired, but if something should fail to work just as planned, it will not be very safe for anyone to work around the dam, as it might give way at any time.


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