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Heavy rain causes flooding and mudslides along Colorado's Front Range

Posted at 4:34 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 00:48:55-04

DENVER — Heavy clusters of thunderstorms poured rain onto parts of Colorado's Front Range Monday, causing flooding and mudslides throughout the region. 

A mudslide shut down U.S. Highway 285 near Bailey around 2 p.m., but crews were able to clear the highway a couple of hours later.

Just as the Bailey mudslide was cleared, flooding shut down U.S. Highway 24 near Manitou Springs and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes and businesses. The Waldo burn scar has made the area more prone to flooding.

PHOTOS | Monday's severe weather outbreak on Colorado's Front Range

Dan Steever, the publisher of the Colorado Springs Gazette, drove down U.S. Highway 24 through Ute Pass and reported a debris field of rocks and trees about a quarter mile long. He says "you can't even tell you're on a highway," and Fountain Creek is overflowing its banks.

The weather also prompted officials at DIA to implement a full ground stop at the airport, meaning no flights were allowed in or out. But the stop was lifted around 5 p.m. The halt in airport traffic resulted in around 650 delays and 50 cancellations, according to DIA. 

Thunderstorm activity will diminish across the state by midnight, with only a few storms lingering on the far eastern plains Tuesday morning.  

Here is real-time information on the severe weather outbreak:

8:50 p.m.: A heavy downpour caused street flooding in parts of Denver Monday evening. Cherry Creek Trail was also experiencing flooding as Cherry Creek rose fast amid the heavy rain. 

6:12 p.m.: Aurora police are urging motorists to avoid driving through flooded streets and intersections and several drivers had to be rescued Monday.

6:01 p.m.: Stranded motorists on East 56th Avenue near the Peoria Street intersection had to be rescued after heavy rain caused the intersection to flood. 

5:47 p.m.: Rescue crews are on scene of severe flooding near the intersection of East Arapahoe Road and South Gartell Road in Aurora. 

5:20 p.m.: DIA has lifted a full ground stop at the airport. Weather had prompted officials to implement the stop around 4 p.m.

5:13 p.m.: Manitou Springs town officials tweeted that residents should evacuate to higher ground. An evacuation center has been set up at the Community Congregational Church, 103 Pawnee Ave.

5:09 p.m.: Emergency notifications were sent to 450 homes in the Ute Pass area warning residents of flash flooding.

5:00 p.m.: The mudslide that shut down Hwy 285 near Bailey Monday has been cleared, but the cleanup continues. The slide caused a muddy mess for residents and businesses in Bailey. 

4:57 p.m.: Hwy 24 near Manitou Springs is closed due to flooding. 

4:51 p.m.: Heavy rain is causing flooding in the Waldo burn scar near Manitou Springs. Evacuations are in place for residents in low-lying areas.

4:39 p.m.: A flash flood warning is in effect for Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, and Manitou Springs until 7 p.m.

4:36 p.m.: El Paso County officials have activated flood sirens near Manitou Springs to evacuate low-lying areas after flooding along the west Hwy 24 corridor in the area. 

4:24 p.m.: Denver International Airport is at a full ground stop due to severe weather conditions. A full ground stop means flights will not be allowed in or out of the airport at this time. Airport officials implemented the full stop at 3:50 p.m. There is no word on when it will be lifted. 

Wicked weather near DIA #Denver7

— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 23, 2018

4:10 p.m.: Highway 285 is back open:

H285 is open. Thank you CDOT for the quick response and clean up. Photo is during the clean up.

— CSP Canon City (@CSP_CanonCity) July 23, 2018

3:34 p.m.: The closure on Highway 285 due to the mudslide is just south of Bailey, located at mile marker 221. The mudslide happened around 2 p.m. A CDOT spokesperson said a maintenance team told her the slide was "relatively small." 

2:34 p.m.: Highway 285 is closed south of Bailey due to a mudslide. Thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail are expected through the afternoon.

US 285: Safety closure at Old Stage Coach Rd (1m S of Bailey). Due to mudslide.

— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) July 23, 2018