Colorado mudslide: 100 people spend night trapped on I-70 after debris from Glenwood Canyon falls on highway

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Greater than 100 folks needed to spend the night time on a freeway, together with practically 30 who took refuge in a tunnel, after rain over an space burned by a wildfire as soon as once more triggered mudslides in western Colorado, authorities mentioned Friday.

The folks have been caught with their automobiles on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon on Thursday night time. These within the tunnel have been caught for about 9 hours till crews may carve out a path by way of the mud to succeed in them at about 6:30 a.m. Friday, Garfield County Sheriff’s Workplace spokesman Walt Stowe mentioned.

The tunnel serves as a 24-hour operations middle for the Colorado Division of Transportation, so it’s comparatively well-lit and has telephones, Stowe mentioned. No accidents have been reported.

The transportation division has accounted for 108 folks, together with 29 within the tunnel, who have been caught on the freeway in a single day. Between 65 and 70 folks remained stranded at a relaxation cease Friday afternoon as crews labored to punch a protected passage by way of the particles.

Mike Goolsby, a regional director for the transportation division, mentioned the realm was affected by about 10 slides, some 12 ft (4 meters) deep and as much as 150 ft (46 meters) broad.

“I am very grateful that nobody was damage. … We have tried our hardest to not have folks within the canyon when these flash flood warnings hit, nevertheless it was the very best case state of affairs for all of us primarily based on the result this morning,” he mentioned.

Glenwood Canyon has cliffs towering as much as 2,000 ft (610 meters) above the Colorado River, making it vulnerable to rockslides and mudslides. In current weeks, rain over the realm burned by a wildfire final summer season has triggered frequent slides, leading to closures of I-70, Colorado’s important east-west freeway. These closures have largely occurred earlier than the storm strikes in, to forestall folks from being trapped.

On Thursday, the canyon had quickly closed earlier within the day as one storm cell approached however had reopened by the point a second storm cell moved in, which led to the automobiles and their passengers getting trapped.

Transportation officers say the part of interstate is anticipated to be closed at the least by way of the weekend due to the numerous cleanup underway and due to heavy rain within the forecast. The Nationwide Climate Service has issued a flash flood look ahead to the realm.

Copyright © 2021 by The Related Press. All Rights Reserved. | Colorado mudslide: 100 folks spend night time trapped on I-70 after particles from Glenwood Canyon falls on freeway

Huynh Nguyen

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