Manitou Springs Flooding: Colorado Town Hit by Heavy Rain (Photos + Videos)
Volunteer rescuer Jesse Rochette searches the Fountain Creek flood waters for anyone trapped or stranded as another flash flood washes off the Waldo Canyon burn scar, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013 in Manitou, Colo. Another missing person was accounted for. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Michael Ciaglo)
Flash flooding didn’t happen for a second day in a row as feared in Manitou Springs in Colorado as thunderstorms that were expected to roll into the area didn’t materialize after three people were injured and at least one person was killed on August 9.
Heavy rain on Friday caused quickly-moving streams to propel debris and vehicles, made worse by the burn scar from the Waldo Canyon wildfire last year.
Flash flooding didn’t happen in the area again, as a warning from the National Weather Service was later cancelled.
The flooding on August 9, though, was destructive and quick.
“There was just a rush of water coming at us,” one resident told KRDO-TV, after he and his family escaped from their car before it was taken downstream. There were “huge boulders” and pipes, among other debris and in addition to the cars, being moved by the streaming water on U.S. Highway 24.
At least one home was swept away on Canon Avenue, according to The Gazette. A neighbor, Kristen Cercone, said that the homeowner suffered injuries, and described the scene as cars stacked on top of each other, with debris and trees pushed up against homes.
Manitou Springs police reported three people injured Friday night and a man’s body was recovered from debris left by the mudslide. It was found ”buried beneath significant amounts of debris” on Highway 24.
Several homes and businesses were damaged, police said.
About 1.3 inches of rain fell in the area burned by the Waldo Canyon Fire last year, the National Weather Service said. Areas burned by wildfires are vulnerable to flash floods because the burned soils don’t absorb as much water.
Flash flood warnings have been frequent this summer in Manitou Springs.
At The Cliff House at Pikes Peak, below a canyon that burned in the Waldo Canyon Fire, the hotel’s staff regularly put sandbags around the lower deck and back doors as a precaution when the forecast calls for rain. They did it again Friday, but it didn’t help.
“The sandbags we put up were washed out almost immediately,” Cliff House front office manager Roland Sardaczuk said. “The cars parked on Park Avenue — the water just threw them around like they were toys.”
The hotel remained open, and no one there was hurt. “We’re grateful for that,” Sardaczuk said.
Other things to know
-The Red Cross has a shelter at 103 Pawnee Avenue (Historic Community Congregational Church)
-Two people remained missing as of Saturday night after a man named Steve was found: “Juston Travis and woman with blond hair clinging to tree still unaccounted for,” said the Colorado Springs Police Department.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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