Baldwin Hills Reservoir Failure Remembered 50 Years Later

The commemoration will begin at noon.

CBS screenshot
CBS screenshot

By City News Service

50-year commemoration of the Baldwin Hills Reservoir failure will be held Saturday at the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, where the reservoir once stood.

Survivors, elected officials, community organizations and representatives of first-responder agencies will gather to remember the reservoir failure and celebrate the creation of Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

The commemoration will begin at noon with displays, storytelling, family entertainment and children's activities. A recognition ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. and a moment of silence at 3:38 p.m. -- the precise time of the reservoir collapse on Dec. 14, 1963 -- to remember the five people killed.

A break in the dam encasing the reservoir sent nearly 290 million gallons of water flowing from the crack for approximately 77 minutes. There were 65 homes destroyed, one square mile and more than 9,000 homes were impacted by the water, mud and debris.

Tom Bradley, who in 1973 was elected as Los Angeles' first black mayor, was the district's new councilman at the time. He went door-to-door warning residents of danger as the water-releasing crack was widening.

Lorraine Bradley, Bradley's daughter, is expected to attend today's gathering.

At the time of the disaster, 17-year-old Dorsey High School student James L. Brown rescued three people trapped in a car. Organizers of today's commemoration hope he'll be there, the Los Angeles Sentinel reported.

Flaming Oh December 15, 2013 at 12:34 PM
They should have rebuilt that dam thing.


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