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Southern Jog



The Republican River Flood of 1935

Oxford, Nebraska; Furnas County

On May 30, 1935, torrential rain fell in eastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska. It rained so much that the Republican River began to flood. A flood is a natural disaster in which water overflows onto dry land. It took two days for the flooding to stop. Over 100 people lost their lives in the flood. The water caused millions of dollars in damage.

 There was a long drought in the area in the early 1930s. Rain came, and the drought ended in Spring of 1935. The wet spring was a welcome relief to the region. By the end of May, however, the soil was nearing the saturation point. The saturation point is when soil has absorbed as much water as it can. 

 The rains of May 30th funneled from surrounding valleys and poured the river. The river went from 300 or 400 feet wide to four miles wide. The flood formed a wall of water that rose between three and eight feet high.

The federal government saw a need to prevent such a deadly flood from happening again.  A series of dams were across the Republican or its tributaries.  Five of these dams were in Nebraska. These damns served as flood protection. They were also used as recreation and irrigation facilities.








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