EL PASO COUNTY – Water is beginning to recede along I-25 near PPIR after hours of intense flooding near the interstate.
Fountain Firefighters told News 5 they rescued 11 people from six cars that were swept away by fast-moving water near milemarker 122 on I-25.
Those 11 people were not injured in the floods, but they had to wait in their cars for the floodwaters to recede, which took 30 to 45 minutes.
At one time, Hanover Fire Chief Carl Tatum said one to two feet of water was covering the interstate between exit 120 to 122. The interstate was never closed in the area, but the flooding caused delays and tense moments for those behind the wheel.
I-25 is washed out near Midway. This is just south of PPIR. Both directions flooded. pic.twitter.com/M6ivDaVy29
— Andy Koen (@KOAAAndyKoen) August 18, 2018
Multiple dirt roads are washed out as well, impacting access to the Boca Raton Heights neighborhood and in the Pioneer Village area.
I talked to one woman driving one of the trapped vehicles off-camera. She says her son is trapped at Hanover High School as the gravel roads leading to it are washed out. Hanover Fire still assessing ways to get there @KOAA
— Sam Kraemer (@SamKraemerTV) August 18, 2018
Tatum also confirmed that staff and students are trapped at both Prairie Heights Elementary School and at Hanover Jr./Sr. High School because roads are washed out in the area. He said none of the people at the school are in danger, but due to washouts, there is no access to reach the school.
Authorities on the scene told News 5’s Sam Kraemer that they’re checking to see if a bridge washed out in the area.
However, Colorado State Patrol is now allowing people to travel west on Midway Ranch Road.
The Red Cross is meeting with individuals to determine if people in the area need shelter. The Red Cross had earlier set up a shelter at Prairie Winds Elementary School, but decided it was not needed.
Power is out to some Black Hills Energy residents in the area. There is no estimated time to restore those lines.
County communications said public works is en route to the area and will begin making emergency repairs to roads there when water recedes.