Colorado no stranger to devastating mudslides

DENVER -- Devastating mudslides in Southern California are triggering memories for many homeowners in Colorado.

The state has witnessed several deadly mudslides. One of the most recent occurred in 2013 in Waldo Canyon near Manitou Springs.

Ed Flanagan witnessed that mudslide. He could only watch as a 20-foot wide river of mud flowed past him, carrying several vehicles with it.

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"It's a crazy thing to go through. I was wondering if it was going to come and get me," Flanagan said.

Karen Berry is Colorado's state geologist. She warns 2018 could be especially dangerous for mudslides in Colorado if more rain and snow don't fall.

Dry conditions mean more wildfires wiping out vegetation, and thus more mudslides.

"When we get significant rainfalls along the Front Range, we've had hundreds of mudslides, and it can happen with very little warning," Berry said.

That also means more insurance claims.

Carole Walker with the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association said 2017 was the most expensive year for catastrophes in the history of the country.

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Walker also said standard insurance policies sometimes cover mudslides, but only if a homeowner has flood insurance.

"The bottom line here is know what your insurance covers and what it doesn't," Walker said.

It's advice many Californians and Coloradans wish they would have had before disaster struck.