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Flood of 1950

1950, May 1


"A North Boulder woman sobbed in the rain Wednesday. Flood waters had eroded her unpaved driveway and threatened to undercut her $3400 septic system, financed through a second mortgage. 'I'm going to lose everything', said Dolores Benson, 54, a Denver lab technician. 'I'm going to lose everything. I thought I would retire early. Now I can't.' She sobbed again. As the flood waters intensified, her one-acre property at 1235 Tamarack Ave. became a marsh. (Mrs. Benson's property is at the northeast corner of Tamarack and Broadway. It is the lowest spot along Broadway between Four Mile Canyon Creek and Wonderland Creek. It is in the path of the "old creek channel" of Four Mile Canyon Creek shown in the 1880 and 1888 maps of Boulder.)

"Rural fire marshals and a Boulder County road crew later diverted the water from the overflowing septic system with scrap wood and rusting buckets. Heavy runoff from the foothills - raising some area creeks to within inches of their banks - flooded sewers, roads and the basements of homes throughout the county.....

"There were no injuries in the flooding Wednesday, but reserve firemen and police officers, emergency aid officers and health officials monitored creeks throughout the county and aided stranded and desperate homeowners. A full shift of Longmont police officers stood guard on bridges over Left Hand Creek and the St. Vrain River until 3 a.m. Officers feared that water released from a broken dam and headgate near Hygiene, five miles west of Longmont, would wash out a bridge on Airport Road and flood low-lying farms and trailer parks near Hover Rd. and Sunset and Pratt streets. However, the surge of water missed those areas and instead flooded open fields east of Longmont. Left Hand Creek subsided and at 4 a.m. today the evacuated families returned to their homes in Southmoor Park, said Carol Hebrew, Longmont director of public safety....

"Boulder County Commissioner Wally Toevs inspected flood damage throughout the county late Wednesday night......Toevs visited the flooded Benson property, located within a half-mile of the Boulder City limits..... Toevs advised her (Benson) that a larger culvert must be installed to channel the natural stream that runs through the property. 'Why am I the one who has to have the big culvert,' Benson said. 'I'll probably have to refinance the second mortgage for this. I'll lose everything.' Daily Camera, May 2, 1950

Compiled by Elizabeth Black

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