The Republican River Flood 1935
(Automated Slide Presentation)
On May 30 to June 2, 1935, rainfall amounts of 9 to 24 inches fell in eastern Colorado and other areas of the upper Republican River Basin. The resulting flood on Memorial Day devastated a wide swath down the river. The severity of the damage spurred interest in building a series of dams on the Nebraska section of the river.
In the early 1930s Nebraska was parched by a severe drought. The heavy rains that followed churned the river to more than 1000 times its earlier flow. Entire towns were destroyed. Over 100 people perished and the area suffered more than 13 million in Depression-era dollar losses. The public demand for flood control and more efficient irrigation helped urge Congress to pass the 1944 Flood Control Act that authorized construction of dams in the Republican River Basin.