A Flood Cannot Happen Here: The Story of Lower Goose Creek Reservoir, Oakley, Idaho, 1984

A Flood Cannot Happen Here: The Story of Lower Goose Creek Reservoir, Oakley, Idaho, 1984
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A Flood Cannot Happen Here: The Story of Lower Goose Creek Reservoir, Oakley, Idaho, 1984
Author Kathleen Hedberg
Burley, ID: Magic Valley Publishers, 1993

A Flood Cannot Happen Here: The Story of Lower Goose Creek Reservoir, Oakley, Idaho, 1984

Reviewer Nancy R. Lund

Natural disasters and the destruction that follows in their wake have always been headline news items. Overlooked for lack of a sensational headline, however, were the herculean effort and personal sacrifices of the residents of two small communities who worked together to avoid a natural disaster—a flood that could have devastated a large farming area of south-central Idaho. Basing her work on meticulous grass-roots research, Kathleen Hedberg tells the story of these rural communities summoning all their resources to avert a tragedy.

In the spring of 1984, the Lower Goose Creek Reservoir threatened to overflow. A flood was inevitable. Thousands of acres of farmland and at least two towns, Oakley and Burley, Idaho, would be inundated. Local officials devised a plan to divert the water from the dam by widening and extending an existing canal nineteen miles and by digging twenty-four miles of new canal in three days through existing farmland to divert the floodwater to Murtaugh Lake and the Snake River. For nearly twenty days, a torrent of water several feet deep and up to seventy feet wide rushed through the Snake River canal, while volunteers sandbagged and patrolled the banks, sometimes twenty-four hours a day.

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