Mudslides from Waldo Canyon burn scar engulf 2 dozen vehicles, closes US 24 for hours

Flash flood warning issued for Black Forest area

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - Flash flooding in the Waldo Canyon burn scar caused rock and mud slides, closed U.S. Highway 24 and engulfed about two dozen vehicles near Manitou Springs Wednesday afternoon.

Westbound U.S. Highway 24 was reopened at 6 p.m. after being closed for several hours.

Airtracker7's camera showed about two dozen vehicles disabled by mudslides on U.S. 24 in the Waldo Canyon area. The helicopter also captured fire crews placing a ladder over a flooding stream to help stranded people walk across it to dry ground.

Video shot by drivers in the area showed cars being carried down the highway in a river of mud that swept  them to the side of the highway or shoved them into the concrete median.  While the damage to some of the cars appear significant, fortunately, there have been no reports of injuries.

Colorado Springs Police tweeted this warning: "Do not drive through flooding areas and don't let children play in the culverts and waterways. Very dangerous."

El Paso County authorities warned residents that if flooding is imminent, they should move to the shelter.

At 3:20 p.m., the National Weather Service said its Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms were dumping heavy rain across the Black Forest burn scar. 

As much as 1 inch of rain fell on the southern and central portions of the Black Forest burn scar, according a flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Service.

"This is a very dangerous life-threatening situation," the warning stated. "Runoff from this excessive rainfall will cause flash flooding to occur."

The Black Forest flash-flood warning expired at 6:30 p.m. The Waldo Canyon flash-food warning expired at  6 p.m.

 

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