On July 28, 1997 Fort Collins received ten inches of rain in a few hours. This caused a huge flood on Spring Creek which killed five people.
Flood water —flowing at 8,250 cfs, which is more than twice the peak runoff of the Poudre River — created a lake in the 40-acre detention area just west of an embankment holding the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe railroad line that parallels College Avenue. The water topped the 19-foot tall embankment and blew out a 12-by-14 foot culvert that was plugged with compacted dirt as part of a 1990 flood-control program.
The sudden rush of water — levels rose 5-1/2 feet in 3 minutes — flooded the mobile home parks within minutes, catching residents by surprise and lifting homes off their foundations. Cars tumbled like toys in the surge of water.
Five people died that night — JoAnn Roth, Rose Marie Rodriquez, Estefana Guarneros, Sarah Payne, and Cindy Schulz. Four of the five lived in the mobile home parks.
They don’t call them ‘mobile homes’ for nothing.