Intense thunderstorms July 10 close roads

July 11, 2011

2:15 pm – July 13, 2011
Red Canyon Road (County Road 115) has been reopened for travel. Advisory: the road was sprayed with magnesium chloride and will be drying in the next few hours.

5 pm – July 12, 2011
The Red Canyon Road closure is still in effect. Rain today has caused water runoff again, and while most of the rock clearing from the roadway is completed, wet conditions are causing the closure to continue. If the rain lessens, it is likely the road will open midday on Wednesday, July 13.

4:20 pm – July 11, 2011
Red Canyon Road will remain closed overnight with about 300 tons of rock remaining to haul, according to Garfield County Road and Bridge Foreman, Mike Prehm. He says the outside shoulder is still very soft and wet up to mile marker 1 on County Road 115. He has additional trucks and a trackhoe scheduled for work on July 12 to continue clearing work of the boulder field which fell in Sunday’s severe thunderstorm.

8 am – July 11, 2011
An intense fast-moving thunderstorm flooded Highway 82 Sunday afternoon, July 10, causing flooding, mudslides and extreme rockfall. Highway 82 northbound into Glenwood Springs was closed for a few hours while crews removed debris, mud and rocks.

County Road 115 (Red Canyon Road), was closed as well, and remains closed Monday. While crews are working to clear the road, Garfield County Road and Bridge District 1 Foreman, Mike Prehm, says persistent rains are preventing significant work progress. The driveway to a storage yard for electrical transformers Holy Cross Energy owns was buried in the mud and rockslides, and the electrical cooperative will have crews cleaning that away today as well.

County Road 113 (Cattle Creek Road), also flooded and was closed temporarily, but was reopened with muddy conditions along it from County Road 112 to Highway 82.

Garfield County Public Works Director Betsy Suerth warns drivers to be aware of the dangers with recent flooding. “All drivers need to be aware that mudslide and rockfall areas are dangerous. Don’t drive into water flowing over the roadway or mud flows and collections of mud and debris, as it is difficult to determine the depth of either material, and vehicles can be swept away in only a few inches of water or get stuck in the mud.”

mud slide
Fast moving water causes mud to slide down onto Highway 82 at Westbank turnoff.
traffic control during mudslide
Garfield County Sheriff’s deputy clears traffic in closed zone at Westbank light following mudslides.
cars turning around in mudslide
Vehicles turn back southbound after Highway 82 into Glenwood Springs is closed
tree down after mudslide
Downed tree sits in ravine from which mud flowed to height of concrete highway barrier along the northbound Highway 82 roadside ditch
mudslide hwy CO 82
Another slide area in which rocks and mud buried the northbound lanes of Highway 82.
rockslide hwy CO 82
Rockslide completely covers right hand northbound lane of Highway 82
road closed barrier
County Road 115 – Red Canyon road barrier
Rocks buy red canyon rd
Rocks bury most of Red Canyon road at the bottom, overlooking Highway 82 (barely visible at right)
fallen rocks by falling rock sign
Closeup of the rocks in front of and behind a rock falling sign
convertibles navigating mudslide
Convertibles navigate rock field on closed Red Canyon Road
mudslide buries entrance
Road to transformer storage yard is buried almost to the height of the gate with large boulders, rocks and mud.