Big Thompson remembrance Friday

Looking west into the narrows after the Big Thompson Flood July 31, 1976
Looking west into the narrows after the Big Thompson Flood July 31, 1976

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Kevin Duggan):

The annual remembrance service for victims of the 1976 Big Thompson Canyon Flood will be held at 7 p.m. Friday next to the Big Thompson Canyon Volunteer Fire Department station a mile east of Drake on U.S. Highway 34.

This year’s event will honor firefighters, law enforcement officers and other emergency services workers who responded to the disaster. The flash flood hit July 31, 1976, taking the lives of 144 people and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

The program will include speakers, music and light refreshments. Participants are welcome to bring a chair and a snack to share.

I was backpacking in the Flat Tops Wilderness that week with Mrs. Gulch. Monsoon drizzle in between downpours pushed us to hole up in Steamboat Springs to get a room at a place with a hot tub.

I called my mother the night of July 31 to check in. She asked, “Johnny, are you anywhere near the Big Thompson? There’s been a terrible flood.”

More Big Thompson River coverage here.

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