COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Danny and Andrea Compton scrambled to save what possessions they could before floodwaters filled their basement Thursday. That's when Andrea realized she'd left her wedding dress behind.
The couple has been married five years. Andrea had left her dress hanging in a closet, and she and her husband were unable to recover it when water and clumps of hail poured in through basement windows.
Most of the water receded Friday, leaving the Comptons' remaining basement possessions in a soggy, muddy mess of debris.
"I hadn't been back down there because I didn't have any boots," Andrea said. "My husband actually found my dress (Friday) night. He went back there for me to get it. That was the only thing he pulled out of the back bedroom. He had it laying out for me, so I could see it."
Andrea described her emotions after seeing the dress.
"I was so excited," she said. "I almost cried, but at least (it) came through (the flood)."
The dress was slightly smudged with dirt. Andrea said dry cleaning should remove the dirt.
The Comptons and their next door neighbors, the Beckers, were among the hardest-hit by flooding along Forest Valley Loop on the city's northeast border. Danny Compton said the flash flood came from a nearby field, then couldn't drain properly because several storm drains were partly blocked.
A neighbor said the field has a natural drainage channel that may have overflowed and contributed to the flood. Drainage in the low-lying area normally flows into a nearby retention pond, the neighbor said.
Neighbors who have seen flooding from the Black Forest and Waldo Canyon burn scars were surprised by the extent of flooding in their neighborhood. Volunteers are helping the Comptons and Beckers clean up.
But with her wedding dress safe, Andrea Becker will have a happier birthday on Sunday.