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History of Flooding

2013 Regional Flood

Sometimes referred to as the 1,000 year flood, the 2013 regional flood caused almost $4 billion in damage and the deaths of 10 people across the Metro Area. This flood showed the catastrophic nature of extreme weather events in modern Colorado and reinforced the importance of flood control. 

1969 South Boulder Creek Flood

In 1969, 60 hours of straight rainfall caused rivers in Boulder County to grow rapidly beyond their banks. This storm dumped around 10-12 inches of rain and  caused $21 million in damage and one death.

1965 Flood

In 1965, the largest and most destructive flood in the recorded history of the State hit Colorado. 21 people died and approximately $4 billion worth of damage was caused by this storm. Rainfall up to 15 inches occurred in some parts of the State. In response to this disaster, the State built Chatfield and Bear Creek reservoirs and established the Flood Control District to protect people, property, and the environment. 

1933 Castlewood Canyon Dam Disaster

Despite warning signs of the Castlewood Canyon Dam needing serious structural maintenance, no action was taken to prevent the disaster that would ensue. In 1933, the dam failed, sending a 17 ft. wall of water coursing down Cherry Creek to Denver. 2 individuals lost their lives in the event. 

1896 Flood

Severe rainfall near Morrison, Golden, and Eldorado Springs caused all the creeks in the area to overflow into Bear Creek. This resulted in the creation of a deadly 10 ft. wall of water that charged down Bear Creek, leaving a path of destruction and taking the lives of 27 Coloradans. 

1864 Flood

The original location of Denver was on the northeast banks of Cherry Creek. Settlers built houses and establishments in the dry bed of the creek, failing to heed the warnings of Chief Little Raven of the Arapaho tribe. After a wet winter and spring, a severe flash flood caused a 6 ft. wall of water to hit those located in the dry creek bed, killing 15-20 people and causing $1 million in property damage.