Pat Shingleton: "April Flooding, April Fog"
On April 18, 1927, the Great Flood of Louisiana implemented the existing levee system. Imperfect engineering and shoddy construction caused the collapse of dams, such as the Johnstown Flood of 1889. On May 16, 1874, 138 people died due to poor construction and a dam break in Williamsburg, MA. On March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam, in service less than two years, collapsed near Santa Paula, CA, killing 450. February 26, 1972, two coal slag dams along Buffalo Creek in southern West Virginia broke, unloading two miles of backed-up water into a lower dam that exploded, 4,000 homes were washed away with 125 deaths. June 5, 1976, the 305-foot Teton Dam collapsed, released 80 billion gallons of water into adjoining farmland. April is for Spring showers and also represents the foggiest month for South Louisiana. On April 20, 1952, the tankers Esso Suez and Esso Greensboro collided in dense fog, 200 miles south of Morgan City. The Suez incurred a 20-foot bow gash with both ships bursting into flames. River pilots are trained to navigate during episodes of dense fog and at this time-of-the-year, northern snow melt increases the level of the Mississippi. Fog caused the worst aviation accident in history when two Boeing 747s collided on the runway in the Canary Islands in 1977, killing 582. On July 25, 1956, the Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Stockholm in dense fog, 45 miles south of Nantucket Light taking 51 lives.