Far from any coasts, volcanoes, or poles, Colorado is nestled safely in the western United States between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Coloradans are sheltered from the harsh weather the coastal states are all too familiar with, right? Well, not exactly. From raging forest fires to flash floods, Colorado has seen it all. These are the 8 craziest natural disasters to hit Colorado in recorded history.
1. Hayman Fire in Pike National Forest
Known as one of the largest Colorado fires in recorded history, Hayman Fire destroyed over 138,000 acres of land. Terry Barton, a Fire Prevention Technician, accidentally started the fire by ceremonially burning a letter from her estranged husband.
2. The 2013 Colorado Floods
From September 2013 to the early months of 2014, Colorado experienced a series of floods after a lingering cold front initiated the precipitation. The floods left eight dead, many missing, and caused over $1 billion in destruction.
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3. 2011 Colorado Earthquake
During a bizarre August afternoon, Colorado witnessed the largest earthquake recorded in over 100 years. A 5.3 magnitude tremor shook the residents of Trinidad and neighboring areas.
4. The 1913 Blizzard
To this day, the 1913 blizzard holds the record for the largest snowstorm in Colorado’s history. A record-breaking 45 inches of snow covered the state, halting all activities until the snowfall subsided.
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5. 2008 Windsor Tornado
Livestock, 18-wheelers, homes, and even one person fell victim to the 2008 Windsor tornado. This 39-mile long path of destruction caused an estimated $125 million in destruction.
6. The 1884 Woodstock Avalanche
After an 1884 avalanche had taken the lives of 18 men, women, and sleeping children, the town of Woodstock, Colorado was never rebuilt.
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7. 1979 Fort Collins Hail Storm
In one of the few recorded deadly hailstorms, grapefruit-sized hail rained on Fort Collins during the end of July. Heavy property damage and hundreds of injuries were reported.
8. Big Thompson Flood
While smaller in volume than the 2013 floods, this fast acting flash flood of 1976 took the lives of 144 people and caused over $35 million in damages.