I was on the phone with Bethany last night when the rain started, and by the time we hung up, a good hour later, it had turned into a downpour.
For those who require an introduction, Bethany Kohoutek was the first full-time staff reporter and later editor of the Rocky Mountain Bullhorn. Now she's joining us again at the Chronicle and Holla, where she'll be contributing columns and posts on Representative Tom Tancredo's presidential campaign. Her column Tancrazy Train, posted below, will debut in next week's Chronicle. Beth is following the campaign from Iowa, where she returned to live after the Bullhorn closed up shop.
We said goodbye and I started calling friends here, and that's when talk of a 100-year flood started. Many of us were students in July 1997 when the Spring Creek Flood devastated the city. I was studying in Hamburg, Germany that summer, so my only personal memories are of recurring visions of everything in my room back in our Fort Collins garden-level duplex floating or destroyed. I finally got in touch with my roommates, who were shocked that our little alley abode between Sherwood and Whitcomb streets, just across from the CSU campus behind Woody's pizza joint, was dry. The basements of nearly everyone around us were soaked, but our tight quarters were mysteriously spared.
I didn't find out that five residents had died and the Foreign Languages and Literature department, then in the basement of the Eddy Building, had been washed away, until I got home in late August. By that time, everyone seemed to have slightly embellished their storm tales. My favorite is of Mountain Avenue being overtaken by kayaks. Maybe some version of that is true. We ski down our streets when it snows, so why not?
Watch a video (linked at left under "14 videos") from the city on the Spring Creek Flood for a much less glorified, although still plenty extreme, reality. The music is awful, but the images are frightening. No kayaks here.