This week marks the 40 year anniversary of the Teton Dam Disaster. To commemorate the flood, Special Collections is sponsoring two open houses on Thursday, June 2, from 2-4 and 6-8 pm. Videos of the flood as well as histories of the event will be shown and a special guest speaker will discuss the experiences of those who lived through the event as recorded in oral histories. This week, a blog post will be posted every day highlighting the oral history of one survivor of the flood.
Ann Davenport lived in Rexburg for 18 years before the Teton Dam burst. She and her family had been living in their home for 15 years before it was damaged by the flood. About the flood, she said, “As I drive down the streets it doesn’t seem like home. You have this feeling of disorientation. It has changed the entire face of the town…I think it did make all of us weigh our values a little more and decide what things are important to us. It made us appreciate our families tremendously. Sometimes, your brothers and sisters get scattered and you think that they are living their own lives, they are not really caring about you. Then when the chips are down, you find out that they really do care about you and they would do anything they could to help you.”
Read the whole transcript of Ann’s interview here.