1969, May 4, 8
NOTE: Be sure to check out
streaming video clips of the
1969 flood taken by Tom Mayberry in BASIN Watershed
Both Two Mile Creek and Left Hand Creek experienced major flooding,
so it is safe to assume that Four Mile Canyon Creek did as well during
this storm. Flood waters from raging Left Hand Canyon Creek swept thru
the small mountain community of Jamestown, washing away 8 houses and
isolating some 100 inhabitants. US 36 between Boulder and Lyons was
closed because of washouts.
Mrs. Reed, who was elderly
at the time, told her neighbor Ann McRoberts that though the '69 flood
in Four Mile Canyon Creek was big, she had seen much bigger ones previously.
She said that the little side canyon (Lion's Point) where Mrs. McRoberts
lived had been filled "side to side" with water.
Mrs. McRoberts reports that
the 1969 flood cut Wagon Wheel Gap road in several places, cutting the
road 10 feet deep in places. Residents could not drive out for 5 - 10
days. Going up canyon from the intersection of Lee Hill and Wagon Wheel
Gap Road to the second place that the creek crosses the road, Mrs. McRoberts
reports that there was a 10 foot deep trench in the road. Bow Mountain
Road was also cut off. (Interview, August 1999, Elizabeth
The May 8th flood was estimated
to be a 25 year flood by Public Works Director Andy Briscoe.
The tracks of the Colorado and Southern railway were again washed out
in the Boulder area.
Peak discharge at Orodell (located
1 mile upstream from Fourmile Creek and 3 miles southwest of the courthouse
in Boulder) : 1150cfs. From US Army Corps of engineers, August
1969 Floodplain Mapping of Boulder Creek.
"This was also a flood of long
duration general storm. Precipitation was heaviest in the mountains;
part of it being snow. In the Boulder and South Boulder Creek basins
the rainfall continued at a moderate rate for nearly four days. Total
precipitation for the storm amounted to 7.6 inches at Boulder
and 9.34 inches at the Boulder Hydroelectric Plant located about
3 miles up the canyon from Boulder. Precipitation amounts totaled 8.11
inches at Eldorado Springs and 10.05 inches at Gross Reservoir
on South Boulder Creek. Peak flooding occurred on the 7th of May at
Boulder and Eldorado Springs. Preliminary estimates based on the gaging
records, indicate a peak discharge of 1150 cfs occurred on Boulder
Creek. Flooding extended over large portions of the flood plain starting
at the junction of the two streams near Valmont Road and extending downstream
through the remainder of the Boulder Creek study reach. Evidence of
two bridge failures is illustrated in this report.
"The gaging records show that
floods the size of the May 1969 flood occur on an average of about once
every 5 years on Boulder Creek and about once every 7 years on South
Boulder Creek." From US Army Corps of Engineers, August 1969 Floodplain
Mapping of Boulder Creek.
Compiled by Elizabeth Black
BASIN is a community project actively seeking public participation. We
appreciate all feedback and welcome comments, suggestions and contributions.
To find out more about how you can be involved, click here. Help BASIN serve your needs, take our "10 questions in 10 seconds" survey.
|BASIN is supported by the US EPA,
the City of Boulder, the Keep it Clean Partnership,
Last Page Update - Tuesday December 27, 2005
| Site Map