Pat Shingleton: The Floods and The Dams..."
On this date, 84 years ago the Great Flood of Louisiana implemented our existing levee system. Other flood episodes include imperfect engineering and shoddy construction that caused the collapse of dams such as the Johnstown Flood of 1889. On May 16, 1874, 138 people died as a result of poor construction that resulted in 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 actually exploded as 4,000 homes were washed away with 125 deaths. June 5, 1976, the 305-foot Teton Dam in Idaho collapsed and released 80 billion gallons of water into adjoining farmland.