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And the West is History: Durango Flood Scene – 1911

The Animas River peaks annually in June, at an average depth of 5.8 feet as measured near the Powerhouse Science Center. In October 1911, after about 36 hours of steady rain in the area, the Animas reached its greatest measured flood stage of 11 feet. Flooding was extreme in all the area drainages, including the San Juan, Pine, Piedra, Florida, La Plata and Dolores river basins. Here a man struggles to get his wagon out of the mud during the 1911 event. The bridge pictured in the distance, being nearly overwhelmed by flood water, is the wagon bridge leading west out of Durango toward Hesperus. The bridge barely survived the flood, sustaining major damage. The photographer was most probably standing slightly south of where the intersection of Camino del Rio and College Drive is today. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 81.07.17 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)