ABSTRACT

In 1975, as the federal Bureau of Reclamation was filling the reservoir behind an earthen dam just completed on the Teton River in Idaho, the structure unexpectedly collapsed. Eleven people died, 3,000 homes were damaged, 16,000 head of cattle drowned, and 100,000 acres of newly planted farmland were flooded. The property damage was estimated at over a billion dollars (U.S. Congress, 1976, p. 8).