Big Thompson Flood remembrance

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

From The Loveland Reporter-Herald (Michelle Vendegna):

For more than 20 years, Anderson has organized the event that commemorates the 1976 flood that started with heavy rain on July 31, 1976. It caused a massive surge of water to race down the Big Thompson Canyon with little warning, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

Community members have gathered yearly at the memorial outside the volunteer firehouse to remember those victims. Five candles are lit for those who were never found: Rochelle Rogers, Teresa Graham, George McCarty, Vernon Oler and Evelyn Kindred.

Monday night, Pastor Paul Logue from Estes Park Baptist church officiated while Jerry Shaffer provided music and Daryle Klassen offered a tribute.

Bob Graham shared his memories of losing his wife Beverly and two young daughters. Teresa and Lisa. He also lost his mother, Clara Graham.

Graham recounted his experience both during and after the flood.

“It would have been unbearable if not for good friends at the Loveland Fire Department,” he said.

“The loss of one’s children is the greatest loss a parent can endure,” he added.

Linda Marriner of LaPorte comes each year to remember her father, Doc Ealy Lee, who died in the flood.

“He loved that river,” she said. Her father loved to fish and went every chance he got, although he would never keep his catch. Linda said he hated the taste.

Linda was joined by her son Luke, his wife Amy and their two sons, Colby, 3, and Caden, 5.

“It’s really about being with my mom,” Luke Marriner said. He has been to the ceremony every year.

He said his mom always talked about his grandfather while he was growing up.

“It was probably more me asking than her telling,” he said, and they have continued to talk about him with the two young boys as the anniversary rolls around.

“It’s important to keep this alive,” Luke said.

Each year, scholarships are given to living relatives of those who were lost. The scholarships come from donations, various fundraisers and sales of books “The Big Thompson Flood” and “Big Thompson Flood Disasters.”

The four recipients for 2017 are Drew Lanig, of Missouri, who is the great-grandson Joseph Appelbaum; Haley Haskell, of Iowa, who is the great-granddaughter of William and Emma Haskell and who lost four other family members; Shannon Peistrup, of Littleton, who is the great-granddaughter of Norma Peistrup; and Trenton Drake Allison, of Kansas, who is the great-grandson of Gene and Faith Saunders.

For more information on the yearly gathering or to donate,

Hey, Colorado: Happy birthday, you stud – News on TAP

A photographic trip down memory lane in honor of the Centennial State turning the big 1-4-1.

Source: Hey, Colorado: Happy birthday, you stud – News on TAP

The king of the Rockies – News on TAP

Bighorn sheep know how to put on a show in Waterton Canyon (just don’t get too close).

Source: The king of the Rockies – News on TAP

Big Thompson Flood, July 31, 1976

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Jason Pohl):

All told, Colorado’s deadliest natural disaster claimed 144 lives, injured scores of others, and permanently altered memories and landscapes alike. It prompted new talks about living in flood country and became the “where were you” moment for a generation, ranking alongside Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001.

Broomfield on path to sign IGA for C-BT shares with Larimer County


From The Broomfield Enterprise (Jennifer Rios):

Director of Public Works David Allen explained that Larimer County will sell Broomfield 115 Colorado Big Thompson water units for $25,550 each and share 80 more units that service the farm.

The outright sale of Colorado-Big Thompson units would save Broomfield $109,250 compared to if the city and county bought them at open-market value.

It also includes an “Alternate Transfer Mechanism,” or ATM, that gives Broomfield the right to use 80 C-BT units a minimum of three out of 10 years — a drought-protection effort that could be increased to five out of 10 years in extreme drought years. That period will be a rolling 10 years, meaning once Broomfield pulls water, the clock starts.

The those 80 units will cost $10,400 per unit, again a fraction of what Broomfield would pay outright for units…

Broomfield is buying the 115 C-BT units at a lower price because they are attached to the 80 units Broomfield with share with Larimer County. Currently water rights holders “use it or lose it” under the existing water plan. As communities like Broomfield grow, and rural communities shrink, this plan is a good way to keep farms active, but still use that same water for growing populations in dry periods…

Last year, Larimer County bought an irrigated farm just southwest of Berthoud and the intent is to maintain irrigated agriculture. It also got several shares of local ditch water. Currently, it has more water than needed to keep the farm operating, which prompted Open Land officials to reach out to Broomfield proposing the sale and shared 80 units.

If Larimer County decides to sell the 80 units, Broomfield would have the first right of refusal to purchase those. If not, Broomfield would get 40 percent of the sale price.

Now the plan will go before Larimer’s Open Lands Advisory Board Thursday, and before Larimer County Commissioners Tuesday.

The plan will still need final approval from Northern Water…

If everything is approved, municipalities will hope to have an intergovernmental agreement in place early by 2018. The outright sale of the 115 units will happen this year.

@COWaterTrust: All hands on deck … for a river clean-up project! (Saturday August 5, 2017)

Photo credit

From the Colorado Water Trust:

This Saturday, August 5, please join us and our friends from Cerveza Imperial for the Denver Days South Platte River clean-up project!

Denver Days is a five-year-old Denver tradition, begun by Mayor Hancock, that runs from August 5th – 13th, and encourages neighbors to spend time together in community service projects and get-togethers.

Cerveza Imperial, the Colorado Water Trust, and the Denver community are coming together to kick off the first day of Denver Days 2017 by cleaning part of the South Platte River in the heart of Denver.

When: This Saturday! August 5, 2017, 9:30 – 11:30 AM

Where: The South Platte River behind the REI Store on Platte Street, between 15th and 19th along Commons Park. Look for Imperial’s bright yellow tent in the REI parking lot to check in and get your free Imperial/Water Trust Denver Days yellow shirt. Volunteers have free parking at the Denver Aquarium by showing their registration.

Fun! After the clean up, enjoy access to an exclusive menu for our volunteers at Kachina Southwestern Grill (1890 Wazee St, Denver, CO 80202 when you visit wearing your Denver Days yellow shirt. Volunteers over the age of 21 can enjoy a free Cerveza Imperial beer!

Help us keep Denver beautiful and connect with your friends!

Register Here:

Because water matters … to us and to Colorado.


The Colorado Water Trust Team