Media Advisory: Remembering the 1965 South Platte River Flood and Moving Forth with Science for Safety

Release Date:

Fifty years ago on June 16, a devastating flood swept through the South Platte River Basin of the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Colorado, killing 21 people and causing more than $540 million in damage.

Fifty years ago on June 16, a devastating flood swept through the South Platte River Basin of the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Colorado, killing 21 people and causing more than $540 million in damage.

Today, streamflows are rising in Colorado because of recent heavy rains and snowmelt, and U.S. Geological Survey crews are paying close attention to river levels around the state. 

Please join the USGS, City of Englewood and other partners to commemorate the 1965 event and see how the same flood would have impacted Denver in 2015.  

Who: USGS scientists and partners

When: Tuesday, June 16, 10:30 a.m.

Where: USGS streamgage along South Platte River/Union Avenue

What: See how real-time streamflow information is collected and used by emergency managers to protect lives and property and learn how 2013 flood events compared.

Why: Floods are the leading cause of natural-disaster losses in the United States. More than 75 percent of declared federal disasters are related to floods, and annual flood losses average almost $8 billion with over 90 fatalities per year. Although the amount of fatalities has declined due to improved early-warning systems, economic losses have continued to rise with increased urbanization in flood-hazard areas.

Due to parking considerations, please RSVP to Heidi Koontz by 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 16. 

Follow USGS Colorado on Twitter at @USGS_CO.