The Warning by Eric Richards
Ninety-two years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the rural town of Santa Paula, California, was ravaged by a deadly force: water from a failed dam.
Hundreds lost their lives — many more than in this latest tragedy.
But it could have been worse.
“The Warning,” a steel sculpture by Eric Richards, commemorates the heroism of people in Santa Paula “who worked to save lives during the St. Francis Dam Disaster” in March 1928.
On that fateful night, two motorcycle cops drove through the low-lying parts of town, warning residents to flee the water unleashed after the just-completed 200-foot-tall dam near Newhall, 35 miles east, failed.
More than 400 people perished.
In their face masks today, these cops are sounding the alarm of a new threat.
I don’t know who put the masks on the statue, but through my photo I’m happy to help spread a message of personal responsibility and caring for others.