COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Rain usually is welcome in Colorado Springs, but not when it all seems to fall at once and as furiously as it did Wednesday evening.
A stationary severe thunderstorm dumped hail and as much as three inches of rain on the city's east side and in El Paso County. The conditions resulted in flooding, erosion, closed streets, stalled vehicles and stranded motorists between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
One of the hardest-hit areas was Chelton Road behind Citadel Mall, a location often targeted by hailstorms. At least two dozen vehicles were abandoned in a mix of water and hail several feet deep.
Seven intersections within Academy Boulevard, Constitution Avenue, Platte Avenue and Union Boulevard were temporarily closed because of flooding, mud and gravel, stalled traffic and power outages.
Flood waters also poured into homes and businesses in some neighborhoods. City officials expect to have a complete damage assessment on Thursday.
Police officers and firefighters were so busy responding to calls for service that officials made a special request for people to call 911 only for emergencies, because many people were calling for non-emergency reasons.