Government & Politics  August 29, 2023

Larimer to mark 10-year flood anniversary

GLEN HAVEN – Larimer County has scheduled a free public event on Sept. 9 to mark the 10-year anniversary of the disastrous September 2013 deluge and flood.

The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Glen Haven Town Hall, 7408 Larimer County Road 43.

The flooding affected 1,120 square miles of Larimer County, destroying approximately 200 businesses and 1,500 homes. Mountain communities such as Glen Haven were hardest hit. Three dams failed in the county and road damage in Big Thompson Canyon, which had been repaired after a deadly flood in 1976, cut off access to Cedar Park, Drake and Glen Haven, where the town hall and fire station were among the buildings destroyed.

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Damage to U.S. Highways 36 and 34, the prime routes into Estes Park, were damaged, hindering tourist traffic into the town and Rocky Mountain National Park just as the influx of tourism to view changing aspen leaves was about to begin. Hundreds of Estes Park residents were isolated when the flooding took out all nine crossings of Fish Creek, and damaged sewer lines dumped raw sewage down the creek and into the Big Thompson River.

The flooding, triggered by approximately 15 inches of rainfall over a week, killed eight people and caused a total of more than $2 billion in damage along the Front Range between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, with Boulder County the hardest hit. In 2018, for the flood’s five-year anniversary, the city of Boulder erected a memorial at Linden Drive and South Cedar Brook Road to mark the site where two teenagers were swept away and killed by the flood.According to a Larimer County news release issued this week, the Sept. 9 commemoration in Glen Haven will mark an event that “impacted our lives, brought us together and strengthened our community in many ways, while fostering community collaboration and resilience. The commemoration also celebrates the volunteer spirit of our community — recovering from this disaster and how we work to protect our communities.”

Dallas Heltzell
With BizWest since 2012 and in Colorado since 1979, Dallas worked at the Longmont Times-Call, Colorado Springs Gazette, Denver Post and Public News Service. A Missouri native and Mizzou School of Journalism grad, Dallas started as a sports writer and outdoor columnist at the St. Charles (Mo.) Banner-News, then went to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before fleeing the heat and humidity for the Rockies. He especially loves covering our mountain communities.
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