114 Years Ago Hauser Dam Flood in Montana Left Devastation (footage included)

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HELENA — One hundred and fourteen years ago the first Hauser Dam failed, causing a destructive flood and ultimately playing a large role in how dams were designed moving forward.

Hauser Dam on the Missouri River was named for Samuel Thomas Hauser, a former Territorial Governor of Montana. Built for $1.5 million by the Missouri River Power Company, construction began in 1905 on the first dam which was made from steel. The dam was declared operational on February 12, 1907.

failure

114th anniversary of original Hauser Dam failure

One issue engineers faced with construction was the riverbed at that section of the Missouri. The bedrock was covered by a thick layer of gravel, meaning it couldn’t be anchored in bedrock.

Steel sheet pilings were driven 35 feet into the riverbed and the steel of the dam was attached to the pilings. Stone footing capped with concrete on the upstream side was set against the pilings in the riverbed to support the structure. A 20-foot-deep layer of volcanic ash was laid down on the upstream riverbed to discourage seeping with engineers believing the weight of the water would compact it and prevent erosion around the pillars.

You can read the rest of the story here. This article was first published By: John Riley of KPAX news.




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