This Day in Texas Disaster History – April 7th

7 04 2009

April 7, 1900McDonald Dam Failure, Austin, TX

The flood waters started from a two-day storm in the High Plains halfwAustin 1900 Flooday between Lubbock and Amarillo. The stormwater filled the Colorado, the Brazos and the Guadalupe rivers, sending the torrent through unsuspecting cities like Austin and Bastrop. This flood will always be remembered as “The Day the Dam Broke.” McDonald Dam on the Colorado River broke up, sending a wall of water down the river which killed dozens of people, even whole families. The river peaked at 60′ high and a mile wide. The pride of Austin at the time, “Ben Hur,” the 181-foot long, triple-decker leisure steamboat, was also destroyed by the flood.   (Source: City of Austin, History of Flooding)