October 05, 2017

Harris, Feinstein Introduce St. Francis Dam Disaster Memorial Act

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) introduced the St. Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial Act, legislation which would establish a national memorial to honor the lives of the 1928 St. Francis Dam disaster that claimed the lives of 431 Californians. The Dam disaster was California’s second largest tragedy in terms of lives lost.

“We should not forget the hundreds of lives lost during one of the worst tragedies in California’s history,” said Senator Harris. “And while this monument will serve as a reminder of the consequences of a failure of infrastructure, it offers a lesson going forward.”

“It’s been almost 90 years since the catastrophic breach of St. Francis Dam, one of the most tragic events in California’s history,” said Senator Feinstein. “The dam’s collapse had an impact on the entire nation, with news of the tragedy appearing in newspapers as far away as Maine. This monument will honor the more than 400 lives lost and serve as constant reminder of how critical investments in dam and infrastructure safety are to our communities. That message is just as true today as it was when this horrible event occurred.”

The bill would also establish a 440-acre national monument around the area that would be managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and it would authorize the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to establish the memorial through the acceptance of donations for the purpose of creating and managing the Memorial. 

H.R. 2156, the house companion bill authored by Representatives Steve Knight (CA-25) and Julia Brownley (CA-26), unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.