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Memorial to local disaster


A bill by Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) that would create a St. Francis National Memorial and Monument in Los Angeles County has passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R. 5244, the St. Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial Act, would create a national memorial at the site of the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster in San Francisquito Canyon, which claimed the lives of 431 people. The memorial would be funded by private donations and would establish a 440-acre national monument encompassing the designated national memorial area that was devastated in the resulting flood.

“This memorial site is important for the people of the Santa Clarita Valley and I am proud to be part of the effort to educate the public and honor the individuals who perished in the St. Francis Dam Disaster,” Knight said.

Knight testified in May before 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 legislation is long overdue,” Knight said during a recent speech on the House floor. “The victims of the St. Francis Dam Disaster deserve to be memorialized, and that’s exactly why we are here today. I am pleased that my colleagues in the House recognize the importance of honoring the individuals who perished in the St. Francis Dam Disaster.”