Emergency mode shifts to damage assessment the day after widespread flash flooding in Southern Colorado. El Paso County crews are facing locations with issues county wide.
On Old Pueblo Highway near Hanover flood damage to the road turned into a dangerous accident scene. "We had a culvert fail and as a result there was a multi-vehicle accident,” said El Paso County, Public Works Executive Director, Jim Reid. It is now a rural road where it is very dark at night. A driver apparently did not see the road had washed away.
"My understanding is that the water was still flowing through the vehicle at about the steering wheel height and as water was flowing through he was able to call 9-11," said Sergeant Steve Krebs with Colorado State Patrol. Another car also fell in the washout as rescue crews were responding.
Then the fire truck ended up on top of one of the cars. The cars were well below ground level and in pitch dark no one was seeing the dangerous road collapse. One passenger and two firefighters were transported to the hospital.
There is no evidence of excessive speed by anyone, but State Patrol is investigating.
There was also concern about the new West Colorado Avenue bridge. It is still under construction. "All that water was just rushing and hitting up against the bridge so the initial concern was that all that water and debris was actually going to compromise the bridge,” said Greg Dingrando with El Paso County.
Because of safety concerns Colorado Avenue was closed while structural Engineers spent several hours evaluating the bridge. They determined it was safe to reopen the road. Other parts of the construction project are still being assessed for damage.
El Paso County parks has also closed the Fountain Creek Nature Center because of flooding. They are dealing with water damage in the lower level of the center.