There may have been bigger floods that have stormed through Frijoles Canyon and Bandelier National Monument.
But they didn’t keep records back then.
At Ponderosa Campground Sunday, 2.7 inches fell in a couple of hours. That was more than enough for a wall of water to whip down Frijoles Canyon.
Barbara Judy, the chief of resources for Bandelier, said according to calculations, the water was flowing at 4,500 cubic feet per second. In 1978, a year after the La Mesa Fire, a flood was registered at 3,030 cfs, which was the previous high.
Judy said creek beds average five to seven feet in depth and the water easily overflowed its banks, putting the Visitor Center in peril.