Colorado's Deadliest Floods
On May 19, 1864, residents of the fledgling gold rush town of Denver awoke to a wall of water slamming into the city with enough force to flatten buildings and rip clothing from its victims. The infamous Big Thompson Canyon flood of 1976 killed 144 residents, tourists and campers.
Ranked among the top ten states for both disasters and dry climate, Colorado has a long history of extreme weather. Per the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Coloradoans experienced twenty-two floods with contemporary monetary losses of $2 million or more since the flood of 1864.
And as the population continues to grow, the loss of lives, property, crops and livestock may increase. Local author Darla Sue Dollman, who witnessed and survived many of the contemporary disasters, examines the state’s most catastrophic flash floods from 1864 to 2013.
About Darla Sue Dollman (Fort Collins, Colorado Author)
DARLA SUE DOLLMAN, BA, MFA, spent her life in areas prone to flooding, from the mountains and plains of Colorado to the Hill Country of Texas. She worked as a photojournalist for thirty-eight years covering weather disasters for local and national news sources, magazines and websites.
Dollman used her meticulous attention to detail working both as a legal and private investigator. She served on the English department faculty at Colorado State University and taught at other Colorado colleges and universities, as well.
Dollman now volunteers with the National Weather Service as a storm spotter in Weld County, Colorado. She writes about weather disasters on her Wild West Weather website and about Colorado history on her Wild West History blog.