The Pueblo West View

Responders chase reports of people in swollen Fountain Creek, find none

Water from widespread flooding in communities north of Pueblo flowed rapidly south Friday, causing the Fountain Creek to swell past its banks.

Local emergency crews and Pueblo Police officers patrolled the fast-moving creek for precautionary purposes. There were no reported injuries.

The Pueblo Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue Team was called to the creek twice with reports of people being taken by the current, but both reports turned up empty.

Woody Percival, fire inspector, said at about 11:30 a.m. there was a report of a homeless man being missing and possibly in the creek.

Pueblo police officers on patrol found a destroyed camp near the creek off Dillon Drive and 40th Street. A witness saw what looked like a person in the water.

A Flight for Life helicopter made a pass over the area, but the crew was unable to locate anyone in the water. The search was called off.

Later in the day, there was another report of a person in the creek, this time near the Fourth Street Bridge over Fountain Creek.

“It turned out to be a piece of tarp flowing along the creek,” Percival said.

The heavy current snapped trees in half and sent them floating down the creek. The sound of the streaming water at times gave way to the sound of cracking wood as the trees were destroyed.

Debris from homeless camps also was scattered across the rushing muddy waters.

Emergency Management Officials at the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office cautioned citizens to stay away from the banks of the Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River.

Fountain Creek flows into the Arkansas River, which peaked at about 7 feet in Avondale; this is considered a minor flooding stage by the National Weather Service.

The weather service said water levels are forecasted to stay below flood stages for the next few days.

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The Pueblo West View