December 21, 2007

Book Review - The Teton Dam Disaster

The Teton Dam Disaster
Dylan J. McDonald
F 752 .S7 M38 2006

Part of the Images of America series, this book celebrates local history primarily through the use of photography. The Teton Dam, built in eastern Idaho in the early 1970's, was intended to control the periodic flooding of the wild and meandering Teton River. A contentious project from the start, building of the dam was delayed because of seismic and geologic concerns as well as uproar that damming the river would negatively affect the fishing and wildlife habitat. While the first chapter visually documents the siting and building of the dam, remaining chapters illustrate the dam's collapse and the destruction of towns and farmland in the Upper Snake River Valley area. A short chapter on determining the cause of the dam failure caps this study. While most believe the design of the dam was faulty, the real cause might never be known because so much of the evidence was washed away.