New Bridge in Pueblo Commemorates Flood That Killed Over 1,000
A new $700,000 suspension bridge in Pueblo was dedicated on June 5, 2021, marking the 100-year anniversary of when the Arkansas River flooded the city.
I grew up in Loveland, and in all my years, I don't think I've ever been told the story of the 1921 flood in Pueblo. Maye because it's so far from Loveland, maybe because it's just so sad.
On June 3, 1921, heavy showers of rain poured down in the Pueblo area, causing the Arkansas River to swell. The Arkansas River ran through Downtown Pueblo at that time, and the levees that held that river water back broke and 14 feet of water flooded the town.
The flood ended up covering 300 square miles. In today's estimates, the flood caused over $300 million in damage. It's also estimated that upwards of 1,500 people perished in the flood. They can't be sure of the count, because there were just too many bodies.
After the flood, they began working on moving the levees for the Arkansas River to the outside of town, where they reside today. Pueblo just dedicated the new pedestrian bridge that goes over the river to a new community park development that's underway.
When I was young, in 1976, the Big Thompson Flood happened, killing 144 people. It was terrible and tragic. I remember them playing audio from the sheriff who died while out trying to rescue people.
In 1997, the Spring Creek Flood in Fort Collins happened the summer of my first year here at the radio station. It was very scary. That flood saw five people lose their lives.
Of course, there were the Colorado floods of 2013, which killed three people and caused over $1 billion in damages.
Yet, I still don't think I'd heard of the Pueblo Flood tragedy until hearing about this new bridge in Pueblo.
Source: KOAA TV