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Heavy rain floods Colorado Springs apartments

Several families displaced; Red Cross assisting

SE Colorado Springs Apartments Flooded by Saturday Rain

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The focus on Saturday's heavy rain was flooding -- not on the Black Forest or Waldo Canyon burn scars, but on the southeast side of Colorado Springs.

Along with high water on streets and roads, several lower-level apartments were flooded.  A family of four on Mazatlan Circle had to deal with a soggy mess.

"Water started coming out of the wall, up under our carpet, flooding," said resident Tremenda LaClark.  "So we just rushed up trying to grab sheets and blankets, anything to stop the water a bit."

The family borrowed a vacuum to suck up most of the water.  A look around their apartment revealed poor drainage that may have been made worse by runoff from a nearby parking lot.  La Clark said the fire department dug a makeshift channel through the front yard, allowing water to drain.

A similar problem developed at the El Vecino Apartments on Arlington Drive near the intersection of Circle Drive.  The fire department said at least six basement units flooded.  Firefighters used vacuums and pumps to remove the water. 

One resident discovered flooding not just from below, but from above.  A bulge of water grew on the ceiling.

"It appears that due to some leaking drains on the roof line, the water got into some of the upper-floor decks, and then migrated through the ceiling into the lower levels," said Lt. Brad Starling of the fire department.

Brittany Haynes, another resident, coped with the flooding while caring for two young boys and pregnant with her third child.

"We just moved in two days ago, so the mattresses aren't off the floor yet," she said.  "Then I walked into the living room and the back porch was up to almost my knees.  My boys were jumping around in their bathing suits.  But I've lost everything."

The intensity of the rain amazed neighbor Walter Montoya.

"I've been living here my whole life, and I've never really seen rain that's coming down sideways and blowing from all directions," he said.  "It changed directions every two minutes.  The backyard was flooded, and that's never happened."

Authorities didn't say how many people were affected or displaced by the flooding.  The Red Cross is helping those in need.

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