Massive South Platte River flood of 1965 —

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Photo via

From (Erin Powell):

On June 16, 1965, South Platte River crested after three straight days of rain, which pushed flood water into local neighborhoods.

The flooding happened in four primary areas: north of Greeley and north and west of Sterling, the Plum Creek and Cherry Creek Basins, the Kiowa and Bijou Creek Basins and along the South Platte River from Plum Creek to North Platte, Nebraska.

According to the Littleton Museum, there had been little interest in building a dam, and the city did not anticipate a flood. The forecast showed scattered thunderstorms. In fact, storms in other places like Castle Rock and Larkspur pushed the water level over the edge…

More than 20 people were killed and 100 horses died at the Centennial Race Track. Twenty-six bridges and thousands of homes and businesses across Denver, Englewood and Littleton were ruined.

The damage totaled more than $500 million.

The Chatfield Damn (sic) was built in response to the flood, and completed in 1972.

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