Page 27 - AreaNewsletters "July 2021" issue
P. 27

grandparents had given me earlier that month, putting the earpiece in my ear so I could listen to the news in case the  ood water threatened my house so I could get my family to safety. (Crazy ideas for a nine-year-old, right?)
Having lived the ’65  ood as a child,
I was curious to learn more about the beginning of this cataclysmic event,
the worst natural disaster in Denver’s history, according to The Denver Post front page story on June 17, 1965. When I visited the Douglas County Library
in Castle Rock, I found that they have extensive histories to include oral, written, and photographic items about Douglas County’s rich history.
What happened in Douglas County on Wed., June 16, 1965?
The weekly newspaper, Douglas County Home Town News, reported that on Wednesday, June 16, 1965, from about 2pm when a tornado hit Palmer Lake, a torrential rain followed a day of rain already. Usually dry East
Plum Creek and West Plum Creek along with various gulches accumulated the water which converged at the south edge of Castle Rock, washing out bridges along the way.
“For years after the  ood... the scars on the mountainsides around Castle Rock were eerie reminders of that scary June day.”
Damage to Interstate 25 North Exit into Larkspur.
Even though motorists had been warned not to travel early on Wednesday afternoon, some 300 to 400 cars were stranded south of Castle Rock in the heavy rain and because of the washout of the Highway 85-87 bridge, many travelers were rescued by helicopters from Ft. Carson that took them to buses.
According to a Denver Post article,
a state patrol dispatcher aired that the  rst crest on Plum Creek was two miles north of Louviers at U.S. Highway 85 at 6:50pm, and the  ooded Plum Creek emptied into the South Platte which continued washing out bridges through Denver, leaving only 11 of 24 bridges usable.
Cherry Creek in Douglas County also over owed as it ran north towards Denver, but Cherry Creek Dam, which had been built after the 1932  ood that destroyed the Castlewood Canyon Dam, saved Denver from more devastation when it controlled the water as the depth of the lake went from 39 feet to 54 feet
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Castle Rock “AreaNewsletters” • July 2021

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