Big Thompson Flood of 1976

By: Noah Gaugler

Deadliest Flood in Colorado's History

On July 31, between 12 and 14 inches of rain fell in a four hour window in the mountains around the resort town of Estes Park. Unusual weather patterns allowed the storm to stop over the town. By 9 P.M. the rivers average depth went from 18 inches to a 20 foot wall of water that crashed through the whole length of the canyon.

The damage it did to the Community

The monstrous flood took 143 lives and injured 150 people. Some bodies were carried away as far as 25 miles. Some bodies were never recovered. One man who left the area that morning was presumed a victim until located decades later, living in Oklahoma. The flood caused $35 million in damage, destroying 418 homes and 52 businesses, 438 vehicles, bridges, roads, the highway and power and telephone lines.