Late one night in September 2013, after days of constant rainfall, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation opened the floodgates of Olympus Dam in Larimer County, Colorado. More than 5,000 cubic feet of water per second rushed down the Big Thompson River, destroying several homes along the way.
Overall, the flooding that year killed 10 people and caused almost $4 billion in damage over 24 counties. But that late night intentional flooding came too late with too little notice, according to a lawsuit filed by Burg Simpson shareholder Brian K. Matise on behalf of three Larimer County residents who lost everything in the subsequent deluge.
The suit, which seeks compensation for their losses and attorneys’ fees, charges that the federal government waited too long to release the rainwater, and gave the homeowners no notice.