National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Republican River Flood of May 30, 1935

 This website is dedicated to preserving the history of the Republican River Flood of 1935.


People living in the Republican River Valley had seen floods before, but none like the flood of 1935. The telephone operators worked as long as they could calling people along the river, telling them to get out of the valley, the water's coming. Many just couldn't believe what was to happen. Below are just some of the personal stories from those affected.

Big Flood Hit Northwest Kansas Memorial Day 1935 - Click here for pdf.

Ferguson Family Memories, St. Francis, Kansas from Lucille Edwards - Click here for pdf. (5.11 Mb)

My memories of the flood of 1935 by Betty Harrison Miller (The community of South Fork on the South Fork River) - Click here for pdf.

McCook Power Plant Report - Click here for pdf. (3.23 Mb)

The Republican River Flood and Tornado of 1935 - A first hand account of a time when news travelled slowly and flood control was unheard of on the Great Plains by Helen (Cappel) Fidler, a self published story from Perry, Nebraska - Click here for pdf.

Reminiscence of the Republican River Flood of June 1, 1935 by Bernice Haskins Post of Naponee, NE - Click here for her story.


From The Hardship Trail 

"Irene Barnhart recalled that Chuck Faylor searched side canyons and any likely spot after the high water, for a long time. His parents and one brother and one sister were never found. They lived between the North and South Forks near Benkelman, Nebraska."

Muriel (Herring) Jones of Cheyenne County, Kansas wrote that her mother said that the waves were worse than any she had seen on Lake Michigan.

…town of Beverly, half way between Palisade and Culbertson. No radio or telephone!

“The Frenchman before the flood was a gentle flowing stream, the water clear as glass, one could see the bottom—sometimes fish slings along the bottom. 
By the early hours of Saturday, June 1st, very urgent warnings were dispatched to the Franklin area. Opal Miller Yelken, was on duty at the Franklin telephone office during those early hours. Calls came in from telephone operators along the Republican River valley to the west. One by one the calls from the west became fewer and fewer as telephone lines were destroyed by the flood. Opal made as many line calls as possible to those living along the river, advising they get to higher ground. Many were roused from sleep."

The books Bluff-to-Bluff and Bluff-to-Bluff Too! are full of personal stories from Colorado to Concordia, KS. Click here for a compilation of some of the stories in the books.

From Nebraska Life Magazine, "Surviving the Great Flood- How the Republican River turned deadly in the spring of 1935". By Sheryl Schmeckpeper. Click here for an excerpt.