Manitou Springs, Colo., was hit by flash flooding, with water pouring down streets. NBC's Leanne Gregg reports.
DENVER — A woman last seen clinging to a tree along the swollen banks of a rising creek is the only person still unaccounted for from a Colorado flash flood and mudslide that killed at least one person, authorities said Sunday.
The woman, described as young with blonde hair, was seen by witnesses as they fled the rushing waters west of Colorado Springs, El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lieutenant Jeff Kramer said.
The flood and mudslide were triggered Friday night when nearly 1.5 inches of rain fell in 30 minutes over an area stripped of vegetation by a 2012 wildfire.
Fountain Creek jumped its banks from the heavy rainfall, and floodwaters cascaded down mountainsides onto a narrow canyon highway.
Authorities said the body of a 53-year-old man was found outside his vehicle under a pile of debris along the roadway. Two other people also reported missing have since been accounted for, authorities said.
Autopsy results are pending, but authorities believe the man drowned when trapped in the flood.
A wall of water, debris and mud from the deluge flowed into downtown Manitou Springs, which sits about 6.5 miles west of Colorado Springs at the foot of Pikes Peak.
Manitou Springs Police Chief Joe Ribeiro said Saturday that initial damage assessments revealed six buildings in the downtown area were unsafe to enter and 11 others sustained some structural damage. Three people had been missing.
Additionally, about 40 vehicles swept away by the flood and mudslide were towed out of the debris, Ribeiro said.
This story was originally published on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:55 AM EDTCopyright 2013 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.