Episode 18: A SPECIAL EDITION: Devastation to development, how a catastrophe formed the community we know today

This is a SPECIAL episode that is commemorating a catastrophe in the Pueblo community that forever changed the landscape of the southern Colorado town.

On June 3, 1921,  a cloudburst developed over Pueblo. During a typical cloudburst, over half an inch of rain may fall in a matter of minutes, and that is exactly what happened in Pueblo, according to NOAA. As the torrential rains fell, the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek quickly began to swell, a wall of water reaching over 15-20 feet in some areas before they began to recede. Within two hours the greater part of the business district of downtown Pueblo was flooded with water 10 feet deep, NOAA reports.  Hundreds of people died, with some death toll estimates as high as 1,500. The flood destroyed almost all of the downtown Pueblo area and decimated the city.

In this episode Dave talks with Margo Hatton who is the Marketing Director at the Sangre DeCristo Arts Center and Sam Ebersole, with CSU-Pueblo. Margo gives great insight into how Pueblo recovered and rebounded from the flood.  She discusses how the flood affected arts, business and development of the city; ultimately leading to the formation of the Riverwalk and the community we know today. Ebersole explains more of the flood’s history and how you can watch a documentary he wrote about the flood commemorating 100 years since the tragedy. 

Rocky Mountain PBS will debut a documentary commemorating the flood, on June 3 at 7 p.m.
Tap here to watch the video.

A special thanks to Juan and Deborah Espinoza for sharing “The Flood of 21” song from their production “The Song of Pueblo” for this episode. It was written and composed by Daniel Valdez.

Released June 1

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