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1997 Spring Creek Flood

The above image shows derailed train cars and uprooted homes after the July 28, 1997 Spring Creek Flood.

July 28, 2017 marks 20 years since Fort Collins experienced the one of the biggest natural disasters in its history.

A slow moving storm cell on July 27-28, 1997 stalled over Fort Collins and dumped 14.5 inches of rain in 31 hours creating flash flooding that wreaked havoc on parts in Fort Collins. One of the hardest hit places was the Spring Creek area west of College Avenue. Debris clogged a railroad underpass which caused water to back up into Johnson Mobile Home Park where 5 people were killed.

Flood waters also damaged numerous buildings on the campus of CSU including the basement and first floor of the library. In the aftermath of the disaster the City of Fort Collins implemented extensive flood mitigation planning that has shaped the landscape of Fort Collins. This work resulted in Fort Collins avoiding the extensive damage that ravaged much of northern Colorado during the 2013 floods.

Explore the resources on this page to learn more about the 1997 Spring Creek Flood and its effects on the people and landscape of Fort Collins.

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery          Poudre River Public Library District
Preserving the history of Fort Collins, Colorado & the Cache la Poudre region