Floods and landslides left the US-24 and torrential rains on desolate roads and in power avenues sunken power lines, while hail piled up like snow in areas over the Pikes Peak region
What could be the opening salvo of a wild week with wet weather, the storm that swept over the districts of El Paso and Teller dropped one to three inches of rain over a drought-prone landscape.
"That's amazing, right?" said John Posusta shoveled hail in Manitou Springs higher than any snowfall that had fallen last winter. "This time of year, you get everything."
Few areas in the region were spared.
Hopper clouds were discovered southwest of Green Mountain Falls, the National Weather Service reported. Then came the rain.
Basements flooded and gravel roads washed over the Ute Pass area, said the emergency workers. El Paso County and Colorado Springs officials lent heavy equipment to help Manitou Springs, and El Paso County's public works executives sent road equipment to remove the debris and prevent flooding in the Cascade and Green Mountain Falls areas Elsewhere, US 24 closed for hours in both directions between Green Mountain Falls and Cave of the Winds, reported the Colorado Department of Transportation. At least one lane was open in each direction as of 9pm.
Colorado Springs firefighters helped people leave the soggy Garden of the Gods Trailers Park, 3407 W. Colorado Ave, and stranded vehicles were reported near North 19th and Uintah Streets. "No injuries were reported," said Captain Brian Vaughan.
Forces used a grader to rescue a woman from a flooded ditch on County Road 21 near Crystola, Teller County Sheriff Office said.
Closure of North Cheyenne Cañon Park and the section of the Gold Camp Road running through it. City officials said the area could reopen Tuesday afternoon.
Hail, wind and road also flooded the Fountain Valley area. Two power outages limited the power supply of hundreds of people in the Fountain and Security-Widefield areas, although most homeowners regained power on Monday night. Twenty power pylons were dumped on South Meridian Road south of Hanover Road. And road damage was reported by Security and Widefield to the Pueblo County line.
Manitou Springs fired tidal sirens – flashbacks of 2013, as such warnings routinely sounded over the hilltop village as a flood rushed through the barren Waldo Canyon fire scar and into the city.
This time the damage seemed far less extensive. And far less water penetrated the Williams Canyon into the city – a sign that the flood protection measures at the western end of the city were working.
Instead, water poured over Pawnee Avenue, washing baseball-sized rocks and gravel piles onto Manitou Avenue and the surrounding streets. In the west, the hail rallied 1½ feet in the Manitou Springs Penny Arcade.
Alan Kearns, 67, the owner of the arcade, shoveled mountains of hail from the entrances and many rides with the help of several volunteers. Some of his shields were damaged, and he feared that many child rides were also damaged.
"It was a rainstorm and a hailstorm," he said. In 2013, he had to dig the arcade out of 3 feet of mud. This time it was 18 inches of hail.
Shoveling away hail on Monday night, he feared at least $ 100,000 worth of damage. If that's true, that would be about a quarter of the cost of the 2013 flood.
"It was devastating," he said about the floods of 2013. "That could be devastating, I can not say it."
The mayor of Manitou Springs, Ken Jaray, said that many of the mitigation measures at the The mouth of the Williams Canyon, which was to expand the runoff area and reduce the impact of such storms, operated. But he was still waiting for briefings from other city officials.
At least one floodgate along Canon Avenue appeared during the storm – the first time in his memory that it had unfolded. But some others did not, leading some to question their effectiveness.
"I think we're okay, people are just shoveling," Jaray said.
The American Red Cross opened two evacuation centers – in a shelter in Manitou Springs four people in two families and no one in a facility in downtown Colorado Springs. Both are closed at dusk, said Bill Fortune, spokesman for the Red Cross,
even these plans were affected by the torrential rains. The main entrance to the Manitou Springs guardhouse flooded and became inaccessible, forcing the evacuees to use a back door. The same tidal waves also hit PJ's Stagecoach Inn.
"It has just crashed on our (front) terrace and flooded into the stream," said Stagecoach server Nick Black.
There was still a lot of gravel in the parking lot describing other employees that Fountain Creek was flooding its banks and flooding into the parking lot. The restaurant, however, appeared largely intact.
Across the street, Mike Casey, owner of Homes of Manitou Springs, shoveled hailstones from his shop window.
Manitou Springs City Hall was closed on Monday and a referendum on a possible referendum on the Cog Railway tax incentive package was canceled
The thunderstorm is expected to continue until Monday, fed by the monsoon, the humidity of the Gulf of Mexico in the front range drives. No one is expected to be as intense as the Monday storms, said Klint Skelly, meteorologist at the National Meteorological Service in Pueblo.
"Today, I think, was a very special day," he said.
The Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick from The Gazette has contributed to this report.