Remembering the 1965 South Platte Flood

“There was a 20 foot wall of water that came down the river from south where Chatfield Reservoir is now, and wiped out most of the southern bridges across the South Platte river. It was about a half mile wide in some places, just tremendous damage throughout the Denver area and on out onto the eastern plains.”

50 years ago this week, the Denver metro area was experiencing four days of hail, severe thunderstorms and even tornadoes, a little like what we’ve recently experienced. In the midst of all that, torrential rain pounded the area leading rivers to swell and ultimately flood.

21 people died and the damage was estimated at $500 million, which would be about $4 billion in today’s money.

The History Colorado Center in Denver is hosting a panel discussion on Tuesday June 16th, Remembering the South Platte Flood to be moderated by Liz Cook, Environmental Educator for the museum.