Fort Peck, Mt., Landslide, Sept 1938

Fort Peck, Mt., Landslide, Sept 1938

Nine Men Lost In Earth Slide On Giant Dam

Glasgow, Mont., Sept. 22 (AP) – One man was killed and eight others were missing after a shift of earth in the east abutment of the Fort Peck dam Thursday afternoon. Army Engineers said no damage was done to the dam proper.

Millions of yards of dirt was pushed into the lake upstream from the dam by the earth slide, which left a chasm 200 feet deep and 200 feet wide.

The missing men were working in the Score pool at the abutment when the shift occurred.

Observers said the damage was serious but not beyond repair.

Work on the huge dam, across the Missouri River, largest earthfill (SIC) structure of its kind in the world, was practically halted as Army Engineers and employees of contractors began efforts to recover bodies of the eight missing men and determine what caused the slide.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 23 Sept 1938

Army Is Probing Peck Dam Slide

Fort Peck, Mont., Saturday, Sept. 24. – (AP) – Plans for repairing the upstream face of gigantic Fort Peck Dam, from which millions of tons of dirt rolled Thursday, were held up today by Army engineers pending an investigation by Col., C. L. STURDEVANT, division engineer for the Missouri River Valley, and his engineering corps.

Maj. Clark KITTRELL, construction chief at the damsite (SIC), said “no official statement of probable causes of the slide” would be made until after the investigation.

In Washington, however, Lieut. Col. William A. SNOW of the engineers said Major KITTRELL had attributed the slide to “some settlement in the foundations” and reiterated his assertion the dam proper was “perfectly safe.”

Eight men were killed, eleven were injured slightly and several others escaped death or injury only by “riding out” the layers of dam material that slipped down the face of the east abutment for 2,000 feet.

Seattle Daily Times, Seattle, WA 24 Sept 1938