The second worst flood in Durango history occurred June 28 to 30, 1927; devastation was only surpassed by the October 1911 flood. The 1927 flood was caused by both rainfall and snowmelt. The Durango Evening Herald reported that the Animas Valley, for a distance of 15 miles above Durango, was under water. The river was half a mile to a mile wide in places. In many areas, only the tops of fences and trees were visible. The most serious damage occurred on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, where more than four miles of track, including one bridge, was washed out between Tacoma and Needleton. In Durango, the river overflowed the south end of the Main Street Bridge (between 15th and 16th streets, seen here), to a depth of several inches, but no damage was reported beyond the loss of a footbridge at the nearby power plant. The record at the Durango gauging station showed a peak stage of 9.65 feet, which represented a discharge of 20,000 cubic feet/second. These records were second to those of the 1911 flood, which staged at 11 feet and a discharge of 25,000 cubic feet/second. Read more about local history at durangoherald.com/westishistory.
Ed Horvat for The Animas Museum, firstname.lastname@example.org