Flash flooding prompts evacuations in Manitou Springs

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MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. -- Residents in Manitou Springs were forced to seek higher ground as a severe storm pummeled the area.

El Paso County officials warned residents of about 450 homes in the low-lying Ute Pass area to leave immediately Monday afternoon, and the Red Cross opened a shelter for evacuees.

A funnel cloud was spotted in the area earlier in the day, and residents along Fountain Creek were warned of the possibility of more flooding.

Dan Steever, the publisher of the Colorado Springs Gazette, drove down U.S. Highway 24 through Ute Pass and reported a debris field of rocks and trees about a quarter mile long.

"You can't even tell you're on a highway," he said. Fountain Creek was overflowing its banks.

Another round of rain and hail is expected Monday night.

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