Big Thompson Flood Damage was Severe, but Some Could Have Been Prevented

by Maurice L. Albertson, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins. Colo.,
Gregory A. Hurst, Grad. Research Asst.; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Colo.,
Michael Poreh, Visiting Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Colo.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 2, Pg. 74-77


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: During the Big Thompson flood of 1976, damages resulted from impact by water and debris and from erosion and scour. Houses were lifted from their foundations and floated away; buildings were filled with several feet of mud and debris; roadways were undermined and collapsed. Although these damages could not have been avoided completely, future damages can be reduced. Building within the flood plain should be prevented; those structures built in the flood plain should be anchored to massive foundations. Highways should be protected, either by re-routing them out of the flood zone or by constructing riprap or retaining walls to protect embankments from erosion.

Subject Headings: Forecasting | Floods | Scour | Flood plains

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