Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region
A community’s recorded collective memory is often benchmarked by frightening experiences and by the second-hand tales told, and retold, by others. More often than not, these delineations in time are disastrous events like fire, flood, or catastrophic occurrences such as drought, financial crisis, or explosion. Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region describes many such events in vivid detail. More
Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region serves as an intense summary of many of the major fires, floods, and other catastrophes of this area. Though thoroughly researched by the contributors, this book is not intended to be a comprehensive accounting, but rather a collection of some of the more significant calamities impacting the area—many of which were discussed at the 9th Annual Pikes Peak Regional History Symposium, also titled “Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region.”
Readers will learn that recent misfortunes experienced in the Pikes Peak region were unprecedented in their destruction, but were not unfamiliar, or even unpredictable, events. In fact, we should expect some natural disasters. For example, did you know that Colorado was designated the “hail capital of the U.S.”? Or did you know that Colorado is on the western borderline of Tornado Alley and that twisters have damaged property in both the El Paso County plains and Manitou Springs, where an estimated $1 million in tornado damage occurred in 1979?
In these pages you will learn how the devastating 19th century fires in Cripple Creek and Colorado Springs influenced how these communities developed and how waging battle against destructive flames evolved from making fire breaks by blasting buildings to sophisticated military missions involving satellites, GPS, and aerial firefighting methods. You will understand, from first-hand accounts, how the 1898 Antlers Hotel fire started and quickly burned an extensive area of Colorado Springs three blocks long and two blocks wide. And you will be shocked by the damaging 1935 Memorial Day Flood, and other floods, that swiftly overcame Colorado Springs’ parks, streets, and buildings.
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