MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - Homeowners picked through dirt and debris in the wake of Monday's flash flood in Manitou Springs.
The flash flood destroyed three homes and damaged 10 others.
Homeowner John Marfoffer closed on his house on Narrows Road one week ago. He said the rains stopped and he hadn't seen much activity in the culvert 50 feet from his house. Then, he said, the power lines started to quiver and he could hear the flash flood barrelling down the culvert toward his home.
"You could hear it. I mean, it came through just like a tsunami would come through. All the debris from the head-end of it came up front, blocked everything and as the water built up behind it was able to blow through," said Marfoffer.
The flash flood tore down his fence and pushed open his basement door. The muddy water and debris mix flooded his basement. He couldn't open his door because 3 feet of debris flooded his basement.
"It happened within a minute," said Marfoffer. "I have a newfound appreciation for flash flooding."
MC Thomson's family owns homes downstream from Marfoffer. Monday's disaster brought back memories of a similar flood in 1999. Thomson said the flash flood took a similar course through their properities. Monday's flood carried more debris and ashy mud than the 1999 flood.
"You can't stop water. We had a deck and it ended up coming up and hitting my truck. After it hit my truck, it hit my neighbor's car, turned [the deck] sideways and pushed it down the street," said Thomson.
Thomson and Marfoffer don't think Mother Nature is finished.
"This is just the start. I think this is a small foreshadowing of what's to come. I don't think this is even near what's it's going to be," said Thomson. "If we get a sustained 40-hour rain, I'm really afraid to see what's going to happen."
"This is not the end of it I'm sure. A half-inch of water did this," said Marfoffer.
Thomson said it could have been worse--he's grateful the flash flood didn't take any lives.