Wild weather causes flooding, hail on Colorado Springs streets

Published: Aug. 29, 2016 at 5:38 PM MDT
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Wild weather roared through Colorado Springs Monday afternoon, quickly causing streets to flood and keeping emergency personnel busy.

Several drivers were caught in the rapidly rising water. Just east of downtown on Pikes Peak Avenue, four people inside one car, including a toddler, had to be rescued after the vehicle got stuck in fast-moving water.

"I saw that it only came up to the middle of the hubcap there, so probably up to my knees," said Sgt. Erick Frederic with the Colorado Springs Police Department, who pulled the victims from the car.

No one was hurt in the incident, but were all left pretty shaken up.

"That's always a scary thing because if there becomes more water then the car could be pushed over," Frederic said. "So it's a matter of yes, stay in there until the car stops moving, but you don't want to get stuck in a moving car either."

Plenty of others were left stranded after water came rushing down streets.

“It’s kind of scary, cause you don’t know what might happen," said Susan Kellman.

Near Bijou and Logan, a snowplow that was trying to move nearly 2 feet of hail off the street ended up having to be towed.

Zach Smith faced another obstacle. His car was picked up by moving water and floated down the street.

"I was at work and my neighbor gave me a call and said, 'Hey, your car’s in the middle of the road; you should probably come move it,'" he told 11 News.

When Smith got home, he found the car sitting sideways, literally in the middle of the street.

“It’s pretty crazy. I’ve seen some pretty heavy rains, but not one to float a parked car like that.”

Another problem spot was off Platte Avenue near Tia Juana. A car got stuck near Fargo's Pizza after water quickly overtook the roadway.

Other areas of Platte, just east of Union, were underwater after storm drains got clogged by the amount of water running down the street.

"It's mayhem. You never know what you're going to get in Colorado. First we have hail, then we get some flooding," said Phillip Groskinsky.


Homeowners near Platte and Wahsatch in Colorado Springs say a dog was killed when fast-moving water got into their garage.

The Pikes Peak Red Cross went to more than 60 homes on Monday. Although not all were damaged, some were left unlivable.

Tim and Debbie Hertzog had their fence destroyed by rushing water, their backyard deck lifted up, and thousands of dollars worth of damage to the inside their home.

Debbie said she came home in the middle of the storm and got trapped in her garage.

"I just saw sheets of rain coming down, so I rushed home. ... As soon as I pulled into the garage, the river coming down the alley came into the garage with me," Debbie recalled. "I couldn't open the door without it coming in. So I called 911...they told me to stay sheltered in place in my car, unless [the water] came in the car.

"It did come to about a quarter of an inch, to the bottom of my car, while I was sitting in there. And I was probably in there an hour and a half, or maybe close to that, and I had no idea what was going on with my house. ... I couldn't get out either door without an onslaught of water. There was so much water."

Tim described the outside as chaos.

"She called me, so I came home and I was trying to get her out of the garage, but the water was almost 18 inches over the garage door, couldn't get the garage door open, so we just had to wait for the waters to subside.

"We weren't sure how bad it was going to get; if it was going to get worse."

Near Palmer Park and Union, one family said they worry about flooding -- like what happened Monday -- any time it rains.

"It's not something to mess with," said Jessica Staten. "If you can't see the road, don't go through it, plain and simple."

Staten snapped video of a car and truck stuck in high water at Mount Vernon Street and Tweed Street. Firefighters were eventually able to help both out.

"This intersection is prone to getting flooded pretty bad," Staten said. "It was already up to the wall of my neighbor, the wall where his fencing is, so there's no way you would have been able to clear it with a car. The minute he [one of the drivers] hit the dip, he was gone. He was done."

It was a similar scene near Fountain and Circle. Kellman saw others get trapped trying to plow through standing water. She decided not to chance it.

"It's scary because you don't know what might happen. I mean, there's lots of accidents, too," Kellman said.

"I just pulled over and waited for it to stop."