MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A mudslide closed a highway and flash flooding stranded vehicles in high, fast-moving water Friday night as rain fell west of Colorado Springs in an area burned by the Waldo Canyon wildfire last year.
Manitou Springs police reported three people injured Friday night, and they were trying to confirm whether one person was missing. El Paso County sheriff’s officials said one of the injured had a leg injury, and another had a back injury.
Residents told The Gazette (http://bit.ly/19TmE42 ) at least one home was swept away.
Firefighters also rescued one man from a creek.
The mudslide closed U.S. 24 between Cascade and Manitou Springs.
Mario Leon told The Gazette he and his wife heard the man shouting for help from their auto repair shop on the bank of the creek. He said he saw the man clinging to the bridge and lowered an extension cord for him to grab while his wife called 911.
Several homes and businesses have been damaged, police said.
About 15 people were at an evacuation shelter set up by the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross, Manitou Springs 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.
To the southwest, flooding temporarily closed part of U.S. 50 west of Royal Gorge Park.
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 told The Associated Press. “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.
Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com