The 2013 Flood
From its sparkling headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park to its confluence with the South Platte, the Big Thompson watershed provides the water we drink, the food we grow, the wood we harvest, the fishing and wildlife habitat we enjoy, and the beauty we treasure. Whether you are a resident within the watershed, a downstream water user, or one of millions who visit and explore the Big Thompson River every year, this waterway holds special value to the livelihoods and lifestyles of those connected to it.
During the catastrophic flood of 2013, many of the ways people were connected to and benefited from the Big Thompson River were significantly impacted. The flood occurred over a five day rain event in September 2013 that brough 15-20 inches of rain to the watershed. Flood waters were funneled down the Big Thompson Canyon destroying the river channel, roads and infrastructure, homes, and much of the land around the river. The flood claimed two lives in the Big Thompson and six more statewide, led 13 counties to declare a state of emergency, and in total left a wake of damage estimated at over $2 billion statewide.
We have brought nearly $5 million to the watershed for Cameron Peak Fire recovery and are just getting started with growing our forestry and stream restoration program. We are focused on continuing to grow our partnerships and impact in the watershed and believe through collaborative actions we can build a better Big T.
Working with others to take action that protects and restores the health and vitality of the Big Thompson watershed for the use and enjoyment of our community.
A healthy and resilient Big Thompson watershed benefitting fish, wildlife, and the people it serves through collaborative efforts for current and future generations.