• Short Summary

    AN ARMY OF BULLDOZERS AND VEHICLES MOVED INTO THE BALDWIN HILLS AREA YESTERDAY (MONDAY) AS RESIDENTS RETURNED TO THEIR FLOOD-RAVAGED HOMES AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF THE HILL-TOP RESERVOIR DAM ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

  • Description

    AN ARMY OF BULLDOZERS AND VEHICLES MOVED INTO THE BALDWIN HILLS AREA YESTERDAY (MONDAY) AS RESIDENTS RETURNED TO THEIR FLOOD-RAVAGED HOMES AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF THE HILL-TOP RESERVOIR DAM ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

    THE MASSIVE CLEAR-UP OPERATION INVOLVING 130 TRUCKS AND 20 ROAD-CLEARING MACHINES AS WELL AS 200 MEN IS EXPECTED TO LAST 10 DAYS. THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS SAID THAT THE FIRST TASK WAS TO GET STREETS CLEAR ENOUGH TO ALLOW PASSAGE OF UTILITY AND EMERGENCY VEHICLES. MORE THAT 5,000 TONS OF MUD WAS REMOVED FROM THE AREA BY MIDDAY SUNDAY.

    RESIDENTS WHOSE HOMES WERE STILL STANDING WERE PERMITTED BY POLICE TO RETURN HOME AND CLEAR MUD AND DEBRIS FROM THEIR PROPERTY. UNAUTHORIZED PEOPLE WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE AREA, AND POLICE SAID THAT THEY HAD ARRESTED A SCORE OF LOITERERS AND CHARGED SOME OF THEM WITH LOOTING ABANDONED HOMES.

    THE QUESTION OF PAYMENT FOR THE DAMAGE, NOW ESTIMATED AT ABOUT $10 MILLION, REMAINS IN DOUBT. FEW HOUSE OWNERS IN THE AREA HAD FLOOD INSURANCE, BUT NOW THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER HAS SET UP MACHINERY FOR RESIDENTS TO FILE CLAIMS.

    INVESTIGATIONS HAVE BEGUN INTO THE CALAMITY IN WHICH 3 PEOPLE LOST THEIR LIVES, 64 HOUSES WERE COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED AND ANOTHER 117 DAMAGED. THE DAM WAS OF AN ADVANCED DESIGN, BUT INVESTIGATIONS NOW SHOW A SERIES OF RAGGED HOLES IN THE ASPHALT SURFACE LEADING FROM ONE SIDE TO THE BREAK IN THE WALL. ONE THEORY OF THE DAM RUPTURE IS THAT IT MAY HAVE WEAKENED BY LAND SUBSIDENCE CAUSED BY THE NUMEROUS SMALL OIL PUMPS WHICH DOT THE SOUTHERN SLOPE OF THE STRICKEN AREA.

    A STATE INVESTIGATION HAS BEEN ORDERED SINCE OFFICIALS FEEL THAT WITH THE POTENTIAL MAGNITUDE OF THE DISASTER IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO DO A MORE EFFICIENT JOB OF EVACUATION. MANY RESIDENTS HAD 3 1/2 HOURS WARNING AFTER A DAM WORKER NOTICED A PENCIL-THIN CRACK AT THE BASE OF THE DAM. POLICE CARS TOURED THE AREA WARNING PEOPLE TO MOVE, BUT MANY OF THEM WERE RELUCTANT TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVADBEOU0PPZ6ZUL9G4BL06FOZ69
    Media URN:
    VLVADBEOU0PPZ6ZUL9G4BL06FOZ69
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    17/12/1963
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:18:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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