They found one neighbor lodged in the mud that night. Above everything, the mind-numbing roar of the debris in the water and its violent cascade into the valley below. 2288: Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Improvement Act of 2010, H.R.
Below each are three photos from the respective floods. The next day, a CenturyLink helicopter touched down nearby to repair downed phone lines. Jerry and Sandy's father, 62-year-old Ealy Lee, tried to climb onto a shed — the women beamed a flashlight across the property, urging them back.
“They easily could have driven off the road and not realized it.”. Three miles below Glen Haven on County Road 43, Pat Karspeck heard a terrible creaking noise. The larger story was partway down the canyon, in the Glen Haven and Glen Comfort areas, where the thunderstorm hovered. We lost seven of our women leaders who were at a retreat center at the mouth of the canyon. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Was the driver in there? DeWitt has been asked many times whether he was scared, and his answer is no. “People associate coming up here with peacefulness, with relaxation, with the beauty of the place.
He watched the car vanish into the darkness. In the early evening of July 31, 1976 a large stationary thunderstorm released as much as 7.5 inches of rainfall in about an hour (about 12 inches in a few hours) in the upper reaches of the Big Thompson River drainage. Five houses washed away here in 1976, including that of Honstein’s grandmother. Brake lights flashed on one car. He was practicing hypoxic breathing, blacked out and was at the bottom of the pool seven to eight minutes before he was found. The high pitched shrieks reaving the air appear to issue from punctured propane tanks trapped in the pummel behind the arc of water at the bottom of the falls. Desperate to find air, Jerry clawed his fingers into the final 2 feet of a utility pole that lodged in a tripod of pine trees. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. The lifeguard was out of position and distracted. The USGS conducts research and operates a Nationwide streamgage network to help understand and predict the magnitude and likelihood of large streamflow events such as the Big Thompson flood. Scot Harrington could not sleep. DRAKE — Certain movies still cause a suffocating sense of vertigo. “I felt privileged to be there. When the call came, I was at the sheriff’s office almost immediately. The Big Thompson Canyon is a narrow channel of jagged stone located on the eastern side of the Northern Colorado Rockies. "I was alive!". It started about 9 p.m. Saturday night, on the eve of Colorado's 100th birthday. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. My mother assures me I slept through until morning, that there was no lighting that night, no thunder. It hadn’t rained a drop. The same thing happened in the flood of 1976 — which claimed 143 lives in the Big Thompson Canyon — and the town rebuilt. The night Clifton DeWitt came out of the water, Glen Haven’s firefighters gathered in the Housewrights’ living room and drank beer and whiskey. Happy it moved something positive in you. Tom Housewright. Below each are three photos from the respective floods. Log cabins bear whimsical names — or honor a loved one lost. I keep hearing the terms “1,000 Year Flood,” “100 Year Flood,” and “Flood of a Lifetime” and am wondering when people will realize these terms are not only grossly inaccurate but set up dangerous, false expectations. The canyons, foothills, and valley of Chasteen’s are the ones I grew up on and rambled over.
Now in his 60s, Jerry chuckles as he recounts poring through the rubble strewn about his girlfriend's property. OK. Eric Gorski is bureau chief of Chalkbeat Colorado. The Big Thompson Flood of 1976. It brought back many somber memories.. The Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 shown visually.
Higher than anyone alive has ever seen it, its mad, boiling surface visible from much farther down the road than ever before. Change ). There would usually be a … "It was hard to breathe knowing my family was up here and not being able to get to them," he said. In the summer of 1976, when I was 7 years old, the river I lived near – The Big Thompson – suffered a flash flood of unheard of proportions. Water managers tried to control the recent floodwaters by making diversions to Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake and by holding back as much water as possible in Lake Estes. I was going up and down that mountain, making trails, signs for neighbors, jacking up the cabin, dragging out rugs, getting mud out of them. was probably on. If you’ve ever been to the Big Thompson Canyon and seen the Dam Store at its foot, you will think you have seen this dam and falls I am speaking of but you would be wrong. Running an approximate 25 miles, its mouth near Lake Estes and its tumultuous end at the Big Dam falls in Chasteen’s Grove, the river loses about a half mile in elevation. provides a reminder that extreme floods like the 1976 Big Thompson flood have occurred in other locations in Colorado in the past and will occur again.
In just a few hours, it dropped 10 to 14 inches of water. Reporter Jason Pohl covers public safety for the Coloradoan. The Honsteins watched the water rise Sept. 12, frustrated but not alarmed. If the log home builder could just throw himself and Ealy to the surface, they might survive. Memorials went up, as did concrete reinforced roadways, new drainage pipes and plenty of new homes. It was pitch dark, but it wasn't raining — the flash flood originated a few miles farther up the canyon.
We are missionaries, on staff with Cru. Tiny mountain tributaries become swollen rivers, rushing downwards laden with rocks, trees, and dirt. 5892: Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2012, H.R. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Took a year for them to move back in. Above it are others: 100 years, 500 years and, much higher yet, Big Thompson, a reference to the giant flood in that canyon between Loveland and Estes Park in 1976. Pat Karspeck believes the same wave of debris that struck Clifton DeWitt in Glen Haven rearranged her furniture and collapsed the fireplace. This is almost 40 years of our family here and five generations.". Wheeling bats can be found at dusk among the steel cables anchoring the span to huge iron eyelets sunk into the very bedrock of the canyon walls.
But there's always that chance. 1, it was a slow build. Graphic shows 1976 and flood inundation of Big Thompson Canyon on the left; 2013 on the right. In the canyon it is typically half that. One was a bridal veil, with two tiers. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! I had more energy than I’ve had for years.”. Jerry tried to hoist Ealy onto the roof, but the water's force tore them from the building. He reached it, pulled himself out and scampered 12 to 15 feet up a rock face, his flashlight in his mouth. Our leader decided we’d best get out of there.
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