“Mama, did Rexburg die today?”

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.

Teton14

Image from our collection

Dawn Weick and her husband owned a bank in Rexburg at the time of the flood.  She and the other shopkeepers in the area felt that they knew all about floods, and began sandbagging their establishments to keep them safe.  Rather than evacuating to Ricks College as others did, Dawn and her husband stayed in the bank to protect it from the flood.  Unfortunately, the flood was much worse than anyone could have expected and they got trapped in the bank.

Over the clean-up, Dawn was put in charge of putting wheelbarrows together.  “We were so tired we could hardly endure. It was Dante, who led the world to believe that hell was fire. Maybe it was really a flood and seven hundred and fifty unassembled wheelbarrows.”

Read Dawn’s full interview here.

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