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SCVNews.com | St. Francis Dam Memorial Act Unanimously Clears Committee | 06-27-2017
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1947 - Newhall Hardware opens on Spruce Street, now called Main Street [story]


St. Francis DamRepresentatives Steve Knight (CA-25) and Julia Brownley’s (CA-26) bill, H.R. 2156, the St. Francis Dam Memorial Act cleared the House Natural Resources Committee with unanimous support Tuesday.

“The St. Francis Dam Disaster of 1928 is a devastating reminder of how powerful nature can be,” Knight said. “I am proud to be a part of the effort to commemorate this tragedy and set a memorial for the lives lost. The people of Santa Clarita Valley have been asking for this memorial for years and I am proud of the support this bill has received from the community and my colleagues here in Washington, D.C.”

H.R. 2156, the Saint Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial Act, would create a national memorial at the site of the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster in the San Francisquito Canyon, which claimed the lives of an estimated 431 people. The memorial would be funded by private donations and establish a 440-acre national monument encompassing the designated national memorial area that was devastated in the resulting flood.

“This legislation will enable the victims who perished in the St. Francis Dam Disaster to be rightfully memorialized,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT). “I commend Rep. Knight for his commitment to this important issue and his work on this bipartisan bill to appropriately honor and remember these individuals for generations to come.”

The legislation is similar to a measure authored by Knight and Brownley last Congress, which passed the House of Representatives with unanimous support. Prior to passage Knight testified in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands about the need to memorialize the victims of the disaster. He was joined in the hearing by Dr. Alan Pollack, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, who detailed the dam’s history, beginning with its flawed design and construction and ending with its abrupt and devastating collapse.

“This bill not only serves as a memorial but will also help educate the public of the tragedy that once shook our community,” Knight said. “I look forward to further actions on this bill.”

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18 Comments

  1. Joe Stark Joe Stark says:

    Sure glad we got all the real problems licked so we can focus on a 1920’s plumbing error.

    • How cold and irreverent can you be!! This was not a “plumbing error”. It is the 2nd largest disaster in California as far as loss of life. There will be a memorial build for the people who died, who had no chance of evading a 180 foot wall of water that left the dam close to midnight. The flood killed people from Santa Clarita to Ventura. Families still need closure. Have a heart.

  2. Hell I would be happy if they just fix the 5 between 126 and Castaic

  3. Such a waste of tax dollars!!! Focus on the future, not the past, McKnight. A plaque is fine but more than that is far too much. Fix what’s here and now, and justify your salary that way, not looking 89 years in the past.

  4. Sad that those commenting apparently don’t give a rat’s ass about SCV residents that came before them. History apparently is meaningless to all of you. Get over yourselves!

    • This is so true, Kathy. People have no clue as to what happened here in history. This is the 2nd largest disaster in California as far as loss of life, and family members are still suffering from it. It’s about time something was done….and the fact that it is not costing tax payers a dime should make this a non-issue.

  5. Sadly, many of the memorials that we currently have around the state have been defaced by people that don’t have any pride in our country or were never taught better.

    • Lola, this is so true. The dam ruins themselves have suffered from graffiti over the years. We have worked very hard to remove the graffiti, but it keeps happening. As a result, we are in the process of getting night vision cameras so we can catch these criminals and prosecute them to the fullest degree. Vandalism to a Heritage site is an even bigger crime than spray painting a sidewalk or a building. We’ve also had looting in the flood plain. When the memorial is passed in the senate, we will be able to raise funds to protect the grounds and have full time security and dogs. The vandalism and looting will stop.

  6. Jon Capi says:

    The power of nature? Are the politicians really that clueless? (Dumb question I know) We are to believe the dam NATURALLY grew there? I, for one, am not a ignorant sheep. This tragedy was caused by mankind’s greed coupled with lack of empathy. The dam contractors cut corners, reportedly, to cut costs. This was not an act of nature. It was involuntary manslaughter.

  7. Jon Capi Jon Capi says:

    This was not an act of nature. There’s nothing natural about a MAN MADE DAM

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