THE CALM BEFORE THE FLOOD

The whirl of the helicopters overhead this past month brings back memories of the Big Thompson Flood of 1976.

The hours before the 1976 flood seem like yesterday.

The day broke muggy and overcast. At the time I didn’t think too much about the sultry weather because I would work indoors that day.

I saw clients at the Larimer County Mental Health Clinic on Saturdays in exchange for a day off during the week.

The County occupied a small office on the second floor of a building on Cleveland and 4th Street—two blocks south of the present County building.

That Saturday, Bill attended the HP picnic near Estes Park along with several of our daughters. All were home when I returned from work.

I remember fixing spaghetti—now we call it pasta—for dinner that night. I multitasked past al dente and ended up with al gooey. But the kitchen blunder was to be the least of anyone’s problems that night.

Right after dinner one of the ER docs at the new McKee Medical Center called about a mental health client he had seen earlier that evening.

Just as we were ending our conversation, he said “Sounds like there a flood up the canyon. I’d better go. We’ve probably got a few scrapes and bruises coming in.”

None of us could conceive of the magnitude of the flood.

Readers, what do you remember about the day of the flood?

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