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Flood Not Forgotten

This year’s flood scholarships will be awarded to four college students who lost their grandparent’s or great grandparent’s in the flood of 1976. These scholarships will be presented in memory of their loved one at the remembrance service which is open to the public. Two of the students will be entering the education field. With this in mind, our service will reflect on the teachers and students of the Big Thompson Elementary School. We are expecting representation of both teachers and students at the time of the flood. Please come and share your memories with us. Claude Stansberry, who was the Superintendent of schools at that time, will be speaking.
Scholarships are made possible through monetary donations which are tax deductible and 100% goes to the scholarship fund. Also from the proceeds of books being sold, a small portion is used for maintenance of the Memorial.

A list of where the books may be purchased along with order forms is available on our web site at They are “The Big Thompson Disaster” a collection of editorial and pictorial material concerning Colorado’s tragic flash flood of July 31st 1976. Also “The Big Thompson Flood July 31-1976” with scenes of the destruction, heart ache, along with many of the first photos taken of the disaster. The monies from these reprinted books are going toward scholarships for the victim’s grandchildren and great grandchildren.
It’s been 33 years since the tragic flood, yet the memories, sounds and smells still linger for many, like a bad nightmare. Stories still continue to surface. Thoughts of those you spent the night with on the mountain side are still very vivid.

Highway 34 memorial

Highway 34 memorial

For those of you who are new to the area, July 31st holds a lot of memories and heartache. Eleven to fourteen inches of rain was dumped on the upper Big Thompson Canyon, causing the worst flood in Colorado history. It took everyone and everything in its path as it tore its way towards I-25 and beyond, taking the lives of 144 people; five of whom were never found.

The Flood Memorial was erected in 2001 and is in memory of those who were lost and for those that were left to endure the devastating heartache of it all. The memorial is located 13 miles west of Loveland or one mile east of Drake, by the new Big Thompson Volunteer Fire Department Station. A memorial service will be held on Friday July 31st at 7:00 p.m. at the memorial site. In case of rain, we will move inside the BTCA building. If you plan to attend the remembrance service, please bring a chair. We will have finger food and a time of sharing after the service. We hope to see you there.

The Big Thompson Canyon Flood Memorial Board of Directors: Shawn Williams, Peggy Lafferty, Marlene Johnson and Barb Anderson.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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