By Keith Coffman
DENVER, Aug 11 (Reuters) - A woman last seen clinging to a tree along the swollen banks of a rising creek is the only person still unaccounted for from a Colorado flash flood and mudslide that killed at least one person, authorities said on Sunday.
The woman, described as young with blond hair, was seen by witnesses as they fled the rushing waters west of Colorado Springs, El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lieutenant Jeff Kramer said.
The flood and mudslide were triggered on Friday night when nearly 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) of rain fell in 30 minutes over an area stripped of vegetation by a 2012 wildfire.
Fountain Creek jumped its banks from the heavy rainfall, and floodwaters cascaded down mountainsides onto a narrow canyon highway.
Authorities said the body of a 53-year-old man was found outside his vehicle under a pile of debris along the roadway. Two other people also reported missing have since been accounted for, authorities said.
Autopsy results are pending, but authorities believe the man drowned when trapped in the flood.
A wall of water, debris and mud from the deluge flowed into downtown Manitou Springs, which sits about 6.5 miles (10 km) west of Colorado Springs at the foot of Pikes Peak.
Manitou Springs Police Chief Joe Ribeiro said on Saturday that initial damage assessments revealed six buildings in the downtown area were unsafe to enter and another 11 sustained some structural damage. Three people had been missing.
Additionally, about 40 vehicles swept away by the flood and mudslide were towed out of the debris, Ribeiro said. (Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by David Bailey and Cynthia Osterman)