The Teton Dam Disaster

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While cameras rolled, the newly completed Teton Dam collapsed shortly before noon on June 5, 1976. The resulting wall of water, 80 billion gallons strong, battered town after town during its three-day rampage through the Upper Snake River Valley in eastern Idaho. Impounding the flood-prone Teton River, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation dam failed during the reservoir's initial fill, ripping homes from foundations, drowning thousands of livestock, and stripping acres of valuable topsoil. Amazingly only 11 lives were lost during the disaster, as most residents heeded the flood warnings. Presenting photographs from local newspapers, archives, museums, historical societies, and witnesses, this book documents the dam's spectacular failure, the tremendous damage, and the Herculean cleanup and rebuilding process following one of the worst engineering disasters of the last 50 years. Today the investigation into why the 305-foot-tall earth-fill dam crumbled-ironically a dam built for flood control-still prompts debate.
ISBN: 9780738548616
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Idaho
Series: Images of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
A native Idahoan, Dylan McDonald is a certified archivist, a graduate of Boise State University, and a former archivist for the Idaho State Historical Society. His research interests center on water use in the American West. McDonald is also the coauthor of two Arcadia Publishing titles on Sacramento, California.
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