You are on page 1of 3


St. Francis
Dam Disaster
St. Francis Dam was a curved
concrete gravity dam constructed in
order to create a large regulating
and storage reservoir for the Los
Angeles Aqueduct system. It was
designed and built between 1924-1926 by
the Bureau of Water Works and Supply
under the supervision of the
organization's chief engineer William
At 11:57 p.m. on March 12, 1928, the dam
catastrophically failed, and the resulting
flood took the lives of what is estimated
to be at least 431 people.
The collapse of the St. Francis Dam is
considered to be one of the worst
American civil engineering disasters of
the 20th century and remains the second-
greatest loss of life in California's history,
after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
and fire. The disaster marked the end of
Mulholland's career.