Aug 15, 2014 12:34 AM by Maddie Garrett

Sudden Storms Stranded Drivers Across Southern Colorado

Strong storms hit Southern Colorado fast Thursday afternoon, slowing down drivers and even putting some in danger.

"We had a lot of rain come through and we ended up with a new lake in Colorado Springs," said Sgt. Darrin Abbink

Gerald Schaffer has lived near the corner of Highway 83 and North Gate Boulevard for eight years. On Thursday his wife got stuck in high water at that intersection.

"I got a call from my wife, I could barely understand her, she said I am in the car and I'm in trouble and there's water in the car," said Schaffer.

His wife's car had stalled out in the standing water, which got to be several feet deep. Swift water rescue crews had to help her escape from her car safely.

"She was coming around the corner here the drain for this street had been plugged so there was a foot and a half of water," explained Schaffer.

Colorado Springs Police officers said, the water was probably deeper than that.

"Probably about three feet of water at one point," said Sgt. Abbink.

The woman made it out of her car unharmed. The cause of the flooding was a construction site nearby that became saturated by the sudden rains and send mud and water flowing in the streets and drainages.

"I don't think it was anybody's fault, there is construction going on here they had these bags of sand soon as the water came down really hard they just washed it into the drain and plugged the drain," said Schaffer.

Another trouble spot in Colorado Springs was at Powers and Barnes, where traffic cameras caught drivers daring to cross the flooded road.

"You definitely don't want to go into water that you don't know how deep it is, you need to look at clues on how deep it is. Just because the car in front of you made it doesn't mean you can make it," said Sgt. Abbink.

Instead of flash flood waters, mud and gravel slid onto Highway 24 between Divide Florissant. The mudflow blocked traffic for a short time, until CDOT could clear the debris off of the highway using snow plows.

Despite the downpours, Highway 24 through Ute Pass was not closed on Thursday.

Police said the events of Thursday should remind drivers to play it safe and not to drive through something your vehicle can't handle or water you're not sure how deep it actually is.



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