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St. Francis Dam

 
 

The St. Francis Dam, designed by Chief Engineer for Los Angeles Bureau of Water Works, William Mulholland, was built in 1926. The dam rose 200 feet and had a capacity of 38,000 acre-feet of water. A few minutes before midnight on March 12, 1928, the dam breeched and 12.39 billion gallons of water rushed through the Santa Clara River Valley and Ventura County before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Towns and farmland were destroyed and between 400-600 people lost their lives. The John Spoor Broome Library has digitized photos owned by the E.P. Foster Library depicting St. Francis Dam, from its construction to the devastation left in its wake.

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