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Swift Dam (Montana)

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Swift Dam (National ID # MT00581) is a dam in Pondera County, Montana, on the southern end of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Map of Swift Dam, Valier, MT 59486, USA

The original dam at this location was originally constructed around 1910, with a height of 157 feet. The embankment structure gave way on June 10, 1964, after heavy rains caused flooding on Birch Creek. The dam collapsed and sent a 30-foot wall of water down the creekbed. The nearby dam at Lower Two Medicine Lake also failed, and at least 28 people were killed.

The current concrete-arch structure was completed in 1967, with a height of 205 feet, and a length at its crest of 573 feet. The reservoir is also contained by a secondary earthen dike (National ID # MT00580) with a height of 53 feet and a length of 457 feet, also completed in 1967. The dams and reservoir are owned and operated by the local Pondera Canal & Reservoir Company.

The reservoir, Swift Reservoir, has a maximum storage capacity of 34,000 acre-feet, and normal storage of 30,000 acre-feet. Recreation is restricted to hiking in the area, with a parking area that requires Blackfeet Nation permission.

References

Swift Dam (Montana) Wikipedia


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