Flash floods ravage central Colorado
Saturday, August 10, 2013, 12:54 - At least one person has died in central Colorado after heavy rainfall - on land scarred by forest fires a year ago - led to flash flooding.
Heavy rain on Friday generated mudslides and flash floods in central Colorado on Friday.
The area of Manitou Springs had previously experienced mudslides two times this year, but none were as severe.
Around 33 mm of rain fell in just half-an-hour on land scarred by wild fires last year.
In June 2012, fire destroyed 347 homes in Waldo Canyon, killed two people and burned more than 7,000 hectares, leaving behind a fragile landscape susceptible to flooding.
Burned soil doesn't absorb water very well, leading to unstable ground and flooding.
Mudslides prompted the closure of Highway 24 where one man was found dead, buried under debris.
So far 15 people have been placed in an evacuation shelter set up by the Red Cross.
Local police say several homes and businesses were damaged.
Witnesses described the water moving at an intense speed, and much muddier than usual.
Many people had sandbags set up around their homes but the water was so intense, they washed away in seconds.
Several areas reported debris piles several metres high while numerous cars could be seen crumpled along the side of the highway.