Environment: Teton: Eyewitness to Disaster

"This wet spot on the side of the dam started spurting a little water and I asked my mother, 'Do you think we should notify the authorities?' She said: 'I don't think it could be too serious because nobody is sticking his finger in the hole.''

It was a warm Saturday morning. Dale Howard, 33, on vacation with his wife Linda and three daughters and visiting his parents in Idaho, had stopped around 10:15 at the newly completed Teton Dam, 40 miles northeast of Idaho Falls. Standing on an observation platform overlooking the 3,000-ft.-long, 307-ft.-high...