A man’s body has been recovered from debris that was left behind by a mudslide that swept through a town close to Colorado Springs. According to authorities, crews are continuing their search Saturday for three people that were reported missing after the flood.
53-year-old John Collins of Teller County, was found on Friday buried on U.S. Highway 24 in Manitou Springs. According to Lt. Jeff Kramer with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, “The body was not inside a vehicle and much of the body was buried beneath significant amounts of debris.”
The mudslide caused the highway to close and the flash floods stranded vehicles in high water Friday night. Approximately 1.3 inches of rain fell in the area. The town was burned by the Waldo Canyon Fire last year, making the area more vulnerable to flash floods due to the scorched soil absorbing less water.
Manitou Springs Police Chief, Joe Ribeiro, said crews were looking for three people who were reported missing: 24-year-old Juston Travis, a man that neighbors identified only by the name Steve and a small, blond female who was seen in a tree near the floods. “She was seen near the creek at one moment hanging in a tree and then not seen the next,” Ribeiro said.
The torrential rain washed away cars and damaged homes, while sending mud and boulders down U.S. 24. “Some folks have lost their homes. There’s been some total destruction on a few homes and some significant damage to others,” said Ribeiro.
It was reported that Friday’s flash flood was the third to hit Manitou Springs this year. “We didn’t have a lot of warning last night. This really came upon us quickly,” Manitou Springs Mayor Mark Snyder said. “And yet I know that businesses, restaurants evacuated their people, got them to safety and that’s always the first order of business.”
The weather forecast is calling for more rain.