How last year's Colo. forest fires trigger deadly mudslides

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A passerby takes a photo of the damage off Canon Avenue Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013 after a flash flood that tore through Manitou Springs, Colo. Fridayâ??s torrential rains swept mud, boulders and other debris from the burn scar down U.S. 24, washing away vehicles and damaging several homes and businesses in the area.
AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Michael Ciaglo

By Heather Burke of CBS Station KCNC Denver

(CBS News) MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - Flash floods and mudslides that swept across Colorado have proved deadly. Rescue crews recovered one body just west of Colorado Springs and three others are missing after flash floods caused not just by heavy rains Friday night, but by forest fires from last year.

The clean up has begun in Manitou Springs, Colorado. One restaurant was washed out by the water surge.

Owner Farley McDonough showed us where the flood line reached two feet.

"This is what the professionals have been telling us can happen," she said, "so we've been working very hard to be ready. But you can only be so ready when something like this happens."

Just an inch-and-half of rain triggered the mudslides in an area scorched by wildfires last year. The dry soil is unable to absorb as much water as before.

Flash floods damaged dozens of homes and sent cars floating. A 53-year-old man drowned, buried under debris on a flooded highway.

About 5,000 people live in this tourist town at the foot of Pike's Peak, six miles west of Colorado Springs.

"We didn't have a lot of warning last night," said Mayor Mark Snyder of Manitou Springs. "This really came upon us quickly."

Rescuers spent the day looking for three missing people, including one woman last seen clinging to a tree.

With volunteers helping them clean up, the owners of the mountain cafe hope to be back to business before the summer ends.