Sunday Stories: History Repeats Itself

The Flood of 1965

The South Platte River is still running high from the flooding that moved through two weeks ago. I thought this was a very appropriate memory from the Sutherland Centennial book.

Excerpted from the Sutherland Centennial, 1891-1991.

As a result of heavy rains in Denver, and in the mountains to the west, the Sutherland area was his by high waters from the flooding South Platte River in June, 1965.

There was ample warning of the impending high waters as they moved this direction.

Early one morning a crew of men with caterpillars moved into the Adelbert Crosby farm which was located west of Sutherland. The crew built a dike around the house and the complete length of the farm. The house was sandbagged and the furnishings were moved upstairs. Fortunately, the dikes held back the water and the Crosbys received no flooding.

The Glenn Elfeldts who lived south of the river reported they weren’t hurt badly, but had between 50 and 75 acres of alfalfa and hay land under water, but the water did not get up around the buildings.

Volunteers sandbagged the Duane Rasby home on the southwest edge of the city in preparation for high water, but none reached the house.

At the J Ray King farm four miles southwest, the yard was filled with water and the pastures flooded. About a foot of water flowed into the care (cellar? Basement?), but none got into the house. Two sealed grain bins with several thousand bushels of corn did get some water and had to be moved. The neighbors helped move livestock and machinery to higher ground.

At the Kenneth White farm, east of town, water was flowing rapidly through the old river channel, which included their barn and a portion of their garden area and yard. About 100 acres of crop land was under water and 80 acres of pasture flooded. Most of the first cutting of hay was lost with bales floating away and of course many fences everywhere were lost.

Flood waters reached the bottom of the north bridge on the South Platte River. That channel was normally dry. Water did not get over the bridge, instead it spread into the low-lying fields.

The last flooding occurred in 1935.


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