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Service Marks 35 Years Since Big Thompson Flood

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Searchers look through a car in the Big Thompson River west of Loveland. Some of the victims of the flood were found in their cars. (credit: casfm.org/Dave Buresh)

Searchers look through a car in the Big Thompson River west of Loveland. Some of the victims of the flood were found in their cars. (credit: casfm.org/Dave Buresh)

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DRAKE, Colo. (AP) – A 35th anniversary remembrance service for more than 140 people who lost their lives in the Big Thompson flood of 1976 is planned Sunday evening at a memorial marker near Drake.

The flash flood on the Big Thompson River on July 31, 1976, swept away cars, flooded Loveland and washed out roads in Weld County. President Gerald Ford declared Larimer County a disaster area. A handful of victims were never found.

The flood in Big Thompson Canyon happened during the celebration of Colorado’s centennial. A 20-foot wall of water raced down the canyon after a rare stationary thunderstorm near the upper section of the canyon.

At the memorial service, scholarships will be presented to six of the victims’ great-grandchildren.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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