CDOT: I-70 Glenwood Canyon update for Wednesday, August 18

Colorado Department of Transportation

Second round of culvert cleaning at Ty Gulch

There was no National Weather Service Flash Flood Watch or Warning issued for Glenwood Canyon on Tuesday, August 17, and the weather held up for most of the day. Crews had another successful day and were able to get a total of 90 loads hauled out of the canyon. 

Widespread thunderstorms return this afternoon (August 18) in western Colorado and will continue through Thursday evening, including in the overnight hours. The main threats include: heavy rainfall (rates up to one inch/hour), hail, and gusty winds. There is an increased flood potential in the Glenwood Canyon burn scar area. The National Weather Service is issuing a Flash Flood Watch at noon in the burn scar area today. Members of the public should anticipate the chance for a Flash Flood Watch to quickly turn into a Flash Flood Warning.  

Flash flood watch protocol

Maintenance crews will be stationed at the two closure points along I-70 at mile point 133 (Dotsero) and MP 116 (Glenwood Springs). This allows for a quick closure of the interstate if the weather worsens. There will be a single lane closure on eastbound I-70 at MP 116 which, again, allows the opportunity to quickly close the interstate as soon as a Flash Flood Warning is issued.

Flash flood warning protocol

In the event that a Flash Flood Warning is issued, maintenance crews at the two closure points will close the interstate. The Colorado State Patrol will sweep the area to ensure there are no motorists or members of the public in the area. Crews will continue to monitor the mudslide area. Motorists should be prepared for an extended closure should there be another mudslide or slide materials blocking the roadway that will need to be cleared before reopening. Safety is CDOT’s and CSP’s number one priority and the agencies will not reopen the interstate until it is safe to do so. 

In the event of a closure

Digital message boards will display the closure points and the recommended detour. The detour will be the same as when the canyon originally closed. CDOT will post messages on both Facebook and Twitter and will send information to stakeholders if we anticipate an extended closure. Motorists are encouraged to check COtrip.org and the weather forecast before driving through the canyon. 

Maintenance update

Yesterday, August 18, CDOT maintenance crews continued to clean debris flows on the east end of the Canyon on westbound I-70 at Ty Gulch (MP 129). Crews hauled out 30 loads from the north side of the interstate with two excavators. One loading and one behind the wall gathering debris and mud in the drainage and feeding it to the other excavator. The crew also built in some stairsteps to slow the flow in the area. 

The west end finished cleaning between MP 119 and MP 121 on eastbound I-70 behind the wall and hauled out 60 loads. Crews moved to MP 126 and MP 127 and started cleaning the French Creek drainage.  

Crews assisted CDOT’s Staff Bridge on placing sensors at the MP 123.5 and MP 124.2 wall using Hanging Lake Tunnel’s bucket truck and traffic control in the area with flaggers and utilizing roadblocks from west to east with two attenuators. 

Today all crews will concentrate on getting equipment cleaned and staged for the upcoming forecasted events. CDOT will split crews into day and night shifts to have coverage at all closure points. 


Engineering update

The Engineering team worked to install motion monitors at the westbound Blue Gulch wall. Coordinated project staffing for the repair project with the consultant. The team also initiated a task order process for additional public information support during the emergency repair project. CDOT continued to answer Contractor questions regarding the emergency repair project with the bid opening at 9 a.m. on Thursday, August 19. Most of the questions coming in indicate that Contractors are taking a good look at the project and planning on bidding. 

General update

PLAN – PREPARE – ACT FOR HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLASH FLOODING (messaging from the National Weather Service)

  • Know before you go – check COtrip.org for any road closures and the weather forecast to see if there will be heavy rainfall in the Glenwood Canyon area
  • Do not drive in floodwaters
  • Have multiple ways to receive alerts
  • Take caution when driving next to steep terrain
  • Check the latest forecast for updates, watches and warnings
  • Be prepared for the sudden rise of water in streams, canyons and arroyos.

It’s important to note that while we as Coloradans are fortunate to live and play in the mountains, they can quickly become a threat while driving through them in adverse weather conditions. While Glenwood Canyon will be closed during a Flash Flood Warning, motorists must be prepared for impacts throughout the mountains and the potential for mudslides in other areas. Be prepared and know how to drive for the conditions. 

CDOT: I-70 Glenwood Canyon update for Wednesday, August 18

CDOT: I-70 Glenwood Canyon update for Monday, August 16

Colorado Department of Transportation

Crews were able to open one lane in each direction at mile point 123.5 at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14, several hours earlier than anticipated. The reopening went extremely well with minor congestion through the canyon at the one-lane configuration. CDOT will continue to monitor traffic through the canyon and urges motorists to keep their eyes on the road while driving through the mudslide area.

Crews had a very successful day on Sunday, Aug. 15, getting a total of 146 loads of material hauled out of the canyon. There was a brief interruption and closure of I-70 at 4:42 p.m. by the request of the Colorado State Patrol because of a rain cell that passed over the canyon and produced some rain from about mile point 123 to Hanging Lake Tunnel. The cell was small and fast-moving and after discussion with NOAA it was isolated and the agency reported dry air in the lower atmosphere. After sweeping the canyon, it reopened at approximately 5:20 p.m.

Weather held up for most of the weekend. No official flash flood watch was issued. 

Conditions will be similar to last weekend on both Monday and Tuesday, with isolated storm chances expected over Glenwood Canyon. Heavy rainfall is unlikely, but there is still a low potential for near-threshold rainfall if an isolated stronger storm moves over the burn scar. 

A sharp pattern change arrives Wednesday, leading to a good chance for showers and storms over all of western Colorado. Any thunderstorms will be capable of moderate to heavy rainfall, and likely exceed thresholds over the burn scar. With a little luck, cloud cover and cooler temperatures could limit thunderstorm coverage, leading to more showery precipitation and lighter rates. However, current model trends this morning indicate a high risk for excessive rainfall across the area. 

In the event of a closure

Digital message boards will display the closure points and the recommended detour. The detour will be the same as when the canyon originally closed. CDOT will post messages on both Facebook and Twitter and will send information to stakeholders if we anticipate an extended closure. Motorists are still encouraged to check cotrip.org and the weather forecast before driving through the canyon. 

Interstate cleanup

CDOTmaintenance crews continued to clean debris flows yesterday on the east end of the canyon on westbound I-70 at Ty Gulch, around mile point 129. Crews hauled out 80 loads from the north side of the interstate with two excavators. One loading and one behind the wall gathered slide material and mud in the drainage then fed it to the other excavator. 

Today’s priority for the east end will be to continue cleaning out the drainage in the same area as there is still a massive amount of slide material. 

The recreation path continues to be closed as well as Bair Ranch, Shoshone and Grizzly Creek rest areas. The No Name rest area is open.


Engineering update

Engineering teams completed visual inspections at mile point 123.5 (Blue Gluch) for the fifth consecutive day and the inspections confirm that damaged I-70 infrastructure can safely accommodate one lane in each direction at this location with certain interim repairs prior to the overall emergency repair contract work. 

The Engineering team responded to the I-70 closure yesterday and monitored the rain cell at mile point 123.5. No material flow was observed. The team assisted with the all-clear at approximately 5:20 p.m. Safety of motorists and crews working on emergency repairs continue to be CDOT’s number one priority. 

General update

Please note that all work is weather-dependent. Rain on the Grizzly Creek burn area may prompt additional mudslides.

CDOT would also like to extend a sincere thank you to the public for their patience during the extended closure of Glenwood Canyon. Numerous signs like the one below have been placed at the closure points. Long hours have been spent ensuring the safety of motorists while crews work quickly to clean and repair I-70. These signs mean so much to all those working through this emergency event, especially for those who have been away from their families to help serve the people of Colorado. 

CDOT crews clean up debris in Glenwood canyon with heavy equipment.
Continued slide material removal in Glenwood Canyon.
CDOT: I-70 Glenwood Canyon update for Monday, August 16

CDOT: I-70 Glenwood Canyon safety closure update: Friday, Aug. 13

Colorado Department of Transportation

Cleanup operations continue today, with operations focused on sweeping and brooming the roadway. Paving has also commenced on the damaged sections of the interstate at MP 123.5 We hauled out around 110 loads of material from the canyon today to our temporary dump site at Bair Ranch and on Colorado Highway 82. 

We did not enter an official weather watch on Thursday from NOAA and there was no precipitation at the burn scar or in the canyon.  

Reopening Interstate 70

CDOT crews and agency partners are still on schedule to open one lane in each direction by sometime Saturday, Aug. 14. The National Weather Service is currently calling for possible precipitation today.

Interstate cleanup

On the east end of the canyon (east of Hanging Lake Tunnel): Crews focused on moving dirt behind the type 4 barrier, exposing and cleaning drains between MP 126 and MP 128. Crews hauled out 80 loads of material today on the west side. Crews also continued washing and cleaning operations in anticipation for Saturday’s opening.   

The priority tomorrow will be to continue to sweep and wash west of Hanging Lake Rest Area.

On the west end of the canyon (west of Hanging Lake Tunnel): Crews focused on washing and cleaning operations from No Name to Hanging Lake Tunnel. Crews hauled out 30 loads of material from the 119 dump site to our dump site on CO 82. 

Paving operations have commenced in the canyon today.

Beginning today, Friday, Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDOT courtesy patrol will be on CO 82 Independence Pass to aid motorists in need.

Engineering update

Engineering teams completed visual inspections at milepost 123.5 (Blue Gluch) for the third consecutive day and the inspections confirm that damaged I-70 infrastructure can safely accommodate one-lane in each direction at this location with certain interim repairs prior to the overall emergency repair contract work. Engineering crews also advised the crews on a few construction items related to their emergency work at both Eastbound I-70 and Westbound I-70 Milepost 123.5 (Blue Gulch).

Emergency Repair plans and specifications were distributed to approximately a dozen contractors that have expressed interest in the emergency repair project. Interested contractors will attend a job showing at 9am on Friday. Bids are expected to be received on August 19 with award expected on August 20.

Eastbound I-70 at mile point 123.5 will be one-lane in each direction and the one-lane closure will extend to approximately MP 124.2 once the canyon for several months. Grizzly Creek Rest Area will not open immediately as Xcel has relocated their generator to the Shoshone Dam and as a result, there is no power to the rest area. Hanging Lake Rest Area will remain closed until the USFS clears the trail. Bair Ranch Rest Area will remain closed for CDOT emergency mobilization. No Name Rest Area will be open when I-70 opens. Shoshone Rest Area will be open when I-70 opens.

CDOT continues to coordinate with Xcel Energy at Blue Gulch as Xcel’s infrastructure includes a high voltage line that provides service to UPRR and the Shoshone Dam and Hanging Lake Tunnel within Glenwood Canyon. Xcel crews installed both poles for temporary power restoration and will be pulling lines on Friday.

Please note clean up work, repairs and reopening is weather dependent. Rain on the Grizzly Creek burn area may prompt additional mudslides.

I-70 eastbound deck repairs at MP 123.5.
There are still several areas of the recreation path that will need material clean-up and repairs.
CDOT: I-70 Glenwood Canyon safety closure update: Friday, Aug. 13

CDOT: I-70 Glenwood Canyon safety closure update: Thursday, Aug. 12

Cleanup operations continue today, Thursday Aug. 12. There was good weather all day in Glenwood Canyon on Wednesday, Aug. 11, allowing crews to work without interruption. Crews concentrated their efforts on mile point 123. 5 (Blue Gulch) westbound and eastbound, with over 200 loads being hauled out on Wednesday to Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) dumpsites at mile points 119 (No Name) and 133 (Dotsero) on I-70, and 9.3 on Colorado Highway 82. There was no official weather watch from NOAA and there was no precipitation at the burn scar or in the canyon.

Reopening Interstate 70

CDOT crews and agency partners are still on schedule to open one lane in each direction by sometime Saturday. The National Weather Service is currently calling for possible precipitation on Friday so reopening timeline could be impacted.

Interstate cleanup

On the east end of the canyon (east of Hanging Lake Tunnel), crews focused on the 12×8 box culvert at MP 129.8  (Ty Gulch) hauling 200 loads from that location yesterday. Crews also worked on washing and cleaning operations in anticipation for Saturday’s opening from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch as well as debris removal on the bike path from Hanging Lake Rest Area to the Hanging Lake Trailhead.  

On the west end of the canyon (west of Hanging Lake Tunnel): Crews concentrated their efforts at the MP 123.5. Crews completed placing 156 super sacks with a crane (each sack weighs 1.5 ton or 3,000 pounds) to act as temporary rockfall protection and diverted Blue Creek west to the next drop drain. All the necessary traffic control barriers have been delivered. Crew made great progress at eastbound MP 123.5 by placing a rock embankment and crews are anticipated to be placing geotextile and road base today. This will allow paving operations to begin on Friday.

Crews also retrieved the D7 excavator from the railroad side of the canyon and offloaded it in Glenwood Springs.

Beginning tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 13 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., CDOT courtesy patrol will be on CO 82 Independence Pass to aid motorists in need.

Engineering update

Eastbound I-70 at mile point 123.5 will be one-lane in each direction and the one-lane closure will extend to approximately MP 124.2 once the canyon for several months.

Grizzly Creek Rest Area will not open immediately as Xcel has relocated their generator to the Shoshone Dam and as a result, there is no power to the rest area. 

Hanging Lake Rest Area will remain closed until the USFS clears the trail.

Bair Ranch Rest Area will remain closed for CDOT emergency mobilization.

No Name Rest Area will be open when I-70 opens.

Shoshone Rest Area will be open when I-70 opens.

CDOT continues to coordinate with Xcel Energy at Blue Gulch as Xcel’s infrastructure includes a high voltage line that provides service to UPRR and the Shoshone Dam and Hanging Lake Tunnel within Glenwood Canyon.

Please note clean up work, repairs and reopening is weather dependent. Rain on the Grizzly Creek burn area may prompt additional mudslides.

Crews assisting crane operations to place a super sack wall in Blue Gulch at MP 123.5.
I-70 eastbound deck repairs at MP 123.5.
CDOT: I-70 Glenwood Canyon safety closure update: Thursday, Aug. 12

Governor Polis, CDOT announce Glenwood Canyon to reopen on Saturday afternoon

GLENWOOD SPRINGS –  Governor Polis and Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew observed the extensive damage and around the clock repair and debris clearing efforts performed by CDOT. Governor Polis and Director Lew announced that Glenwood Canyon would reopen Saturday afternoon. 

“Clearing and ultimately re-opening the I-70 corridor through Glenwood Springs is our top transportation priority. This corridor plays a vital role in our state’s economy and for many Coloradans traveling to get to work, school, and homes along the western slope. CDOT and State Emergency Operations have made tremendous progress in cleaning up and removing tons of mud and debris that have completely blocked off access to this roadway,” said Governor Polis. “As the state recovers from this incident and reopens this corridor Saturday afternoon, we will continue to need strong federal partners in the Biden administration and our federal delegation.”

Governor Jared Polis visited the I-70 corridor in Glenwood Canyon to survey the damage caused by devastating mudslides in the surrounding area as well as view progress made to clean up and reopen the canyon route. 

Governor Polis was joined by Shoshana Lew, Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, and state officials. The Governor thanks the state’s Public Safety team, the federal delegation, including Senators Hickenlooper and Bennet as well as partners at the US Department of Transportation and Federal Highways for their efforts. 

There is extensive work to be accomplished over the next four days that includes completing material removal at westbound Milepost 123.5 and the state commends Xcel for speeding up the extensive work they need to accomplish to hit this timeline. 

Since mudslides closed I-70 in Glenwood Canyon, Governor Polis has taken immediate action to provide additional resources to reopen the canyon and help mitigate future disasters. Governor Polis issued two state disaster declarations that authorized the use of the Colorado National Guard for traffic control, debris management, and unarmed law enforcement support. 

Additionally, Governor Polis requested federal funds to assist with the recovery efforts, which the Federal Highway Administration approved releasing $11.6 million to Colorado one day after the Polis administration made the request. 

CDOT crews have removed thousands of tons of debris from the canyon.

The Governor’s disaster declaration also activates the State’s Emergency Operations Plan and directs State agencies to coordinate their response while also providing additional funds to respond to the damage and repairs needed in areas affected by burn scar, flooding and slides.  Coloradans can find the latest updates and information on alternative routes at  www.codot.gov/travel/glenwoodcanyon.

Governor Polis, CDOT Director Shoshana Lew, and a US Forest Service representative observe the damage on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon.

Governor Polis, CDOT Director Shoshana Lew, and a US Forest Service representative observe the damage on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon.
Governor Polis, CDOT announce Glenwood Canyon to reopen on Saturday afternoon

Colorado receives federal emergency funds one day after Polis Administration request

Colorado Unified Coordination Group

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Just one business day after the Polis Administration formally requested support, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced it will release $11.6 million, or 10% of the total request, through its quick-release process. FHWA first informed the Colorado Congressional Delegation earlier today per protocol. Governor Jared Polis and Department of Transportation Director Shoshana Lew made the full request in a letter yesterday to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and FHWA Acting Administrator Stephanie Pollack, following a separate submission to the FHWA Colorado Division office. 

“We are thrilled to have such close coordination with our federal partners to ensure federal resources are quickly on their way to Colorado,” said Gov. Polis. “Crews and staff across state government are working in all-hands-on-deck mode to deal with the devastating damage to Glenwood Canyon and I-70, and having the same level of support from federal partners at the Federal Highway Administration ensures we can keep working at a rapid pace to restore this economic and recreation highway.”

“CDOT’s maintenance teams have made great progress in recovery operations, allowing our engineers to make similar strides in developing a plan to reopen I-70,” said Director Lew. “Thanks to the fast and strong support of our federal delegation as well as the backing of FHWA, CDOT can continue to work quickly with the assurance that resources will remain available. I want to add a special thanks to FHWA Colorado Division staff who have provided technical support throughout this incident and helped smooth the process to help deliver this quick support.”

Here is Gov. Polis and Director Lew’s letter to Secretary Buttigieg and Acting Administrator Pollack and CDOT’s submissions to the FHWA Colorado Division which was sent yesterday. This follows issuance of two Executive Orders from Governor Polis last week, as well as a letter from the Colorado congressional delegation on Saturday, August 7, 2021 stressing the urgency of this matter to the state.

Colorado receives federal emergency funds one day after Polis Administration request

CDOT: Operational update on I-70 through Glenwood Canyon

Colorado Department of Transportation

July 30, 1:30 PM 
GLENWOOD CANYON — Glenwood Canyon continues to experience severe impacts from debris flows along burn scars from the Grizzly Creek fire. A safety closure continues to be in place for Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, and is anticipated to last through the weekend.

The extended safety closure is necessary due to significant clean up required after Thursday’s mudslides and debris flows, as well as continued heavy rain in the forecast. CDOT reminds travelers that weather and safety conditions can shift precipitously in a manner of moments in this area, and weather forecasts suggest rain and significant mudslide risk through the weekend.

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon was closed due to a Flash Flood Warning for the Grizzly Creek burn scar area. CDOT closed I-70 at standard exits to keep the travelling public safe and to access recommended detour routes. At 6:00 p.m. that Flash Flood Warning and a Flash Flood Watch expired, and I-70 was reopened.

Later last night at approximately 9:00 p.m., a new Flash Flood Warning went into effect after storm cells quickly built up in the area. Mudslides and debris reached I-70 within a few minutes. Throughout this time, CDOT highway maintenance personnel were working to secure the roadway and protect life safety. While debris was flowing down onto the roadway, CDOT temporarily evacuated its operations center in Hanging Lake Tunnel and had operations personnel working in the complex shelter in place for their safety. By approximately 10:45 p.m. the Hanging Lake Tunnel operations center was back online.

CDOT staff at the tunnel assisted travelers who were trapped on I-70 by debris flows and sought shelter at Hanging Lake Tunnel; 29 motorists sheltered at the tunnel complex overnight. In total, CDOT has accounted for 108 individuals who have now been either evacuated from Glenwood Canyon or have been moved to a safe place.

CDOT crews are now working to regain operational access throughout Glenwood Canyon. Because the National Weather Service has placed this area back under a Flash Flood Watch, there is a limited window of time to move all abandoned vehicles to safety.

With significant additional rain forecasted for the area and the possibility of additional debris flows, I-70 will remain closed between Exits 87 (West Rifle) and 133 (Dotsero). This closure will last at least through this weekend.

CDOT strongly asks that motorists use the recommended northern alternate route via I-70 – CO 9 – US 40 – CO 13. Westbound motorists from the Denver metro area should exit I-70 at Exit 205 (Silverthorne) and travel north on Colorado Highway 9 towards Kremmling. Travelers will continue west on US Highway 40 and then south on CO 13 to complete the alternate route and return to westbound I-70 at Rifle (Exit 90). Eastbound travelers can detour using the same route in reverse.

CDOT: Operational update on I-70 through Glenwood Canyon

CDOT: I-70 westbound open in Glenwood Canyon after debris flows and Colorado River impacts

Garco 911

July 24, 4:27 am – I-70 is open between mile markers 133 Dotsero and 116 Glenwood Springs westbound lanes only.

Colorado Department of Transportation

I-70 through Glenwood Canyon closed due to several debris flows
Extended closure anticipated. Motorists should use alternate route

July 22, 9:14 pm UPDATE:

I-70 Corridor – I-70 in Glenwood Canyon is closed in both directions again, due to several debris flows that occurred around 5:30 p.m. this evening. The extended closure is between Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) and Exit 133 (Dotsero), with an additional closure point at Exit 87 (West Rifle).

Crews are continuing to assess the slide areas with particular attention to a debris field blocking the Colorado River at mile point 124, about one mile west of Hanging Lake Tunnel. The roadway was not impacted at this location, but CDOT engineers are on site to evaluate any damage to structures. Cinnamon Creek, above the Hanging Lake Tunnel complex, also experienced a significant debris flow but the tunnel complex was not damaged.

An earlier safety closure had been put in place at 4:45 p.m., so vehicles were clear of the canyon. 

This is an EXTENDED CLOSURE and motorists are encouraged to utilize the northern alternate route (Please see attached map). That route is Colorado Highway 13 from Rifle to Craig, east on US 40 to Steamboat over Rabbit Ears Pass to Kremmling, and down Colorado Highway 9 to Silverthorne.

Motorists traveling westbound can access Colorado Highway 82 / Independence Pass. Commercial vehicles and recreational vehicles longer than 35 feet are not permitted on Independence Pass.

Please do not use navigation applications to look for alternate routes.There are many auxiliary roads such as Cottonwood Pass, Hagerman Pass and Eagle/Thomasville Road that are not passable and do not have cell service. Cottonwood Pass is restricted to local traffic only.

Glenwood Canyon debris flow - July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon debris flows - July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon mud flow - July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon debris flow on July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon, Colorado debris flow July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon debris flow for July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon debris flow from July 22, 2021

Garco 911

July 22, 6:16 pm: The existing closure on I-70 has been moved from mile marker 116 eastbound, Glenwood Springs, to mile marker 87, west Rifle.

I-70 is closed between exit 87 and 116 eastbound, with local traffic allowed through exit 109 to access the Highway 82 corridor. Westbound, I-70 is closed at Dotsero, exit 133.

Colorado Department of Transportation

UPDATE – 6:15 pm (7/22) – Debris flows have occurred in several sections of I-70 Glenwood Canyon. This is an EXTENDED CLOSURE with no estimated time of reopening, while crews assess the debris flows. Motorists are advised to seek the northern alternate route via Steamboat Springs.

CDOT asks that motorists use the recommended northern alternate route when detouring around the closure. Westbound motorists from the Denver metro area should exit I-70 at Exit 205 (Silverthorne) and travel north on Colorado Highway 9 towards Kremmling. Travelers will continue west on US Highway 40 and then south on CO 13 to complete the alternate route and return to westbound I-70 at Rifle (Exit 90). Eastbound travelers can detour using the same route in reverse.

Glenwood Canyon detour route

City of Glenwood

July 22, 6:06 pm: Safety closure in effect for the Glenwood Springs River Park at Midland and Devereux and the pedestrian bridge crossing the Colorado River from the River Trail to Two Rivers Park. No estimated time for reopening.

National Weather Service

July 22, 2021, 4:36 p.m.: The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area in Western Eagle County in west central Colorado, East Central Garfield County in west central Colorado until 6:30 p.m.

At 4:36 p.m. MDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly. Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flow moving through the Glenwood Canyon area. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.

HAZARD: Life-threatening flash flooding. Thunderstorms producing flash flooding in and around the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area.
SOURCE: Radar.
IMPACT: Life-threatening flash flooding of areas in and around the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Some locations that will experience flash flooding include Glenwood Springs and Shoshone.

FLASH FLOOD DAMAGE THREAT: CONSIDERABLE
Instructions: This is a life threatening situation. Heavy rainfall will cause extensive and severe flash flooding of creeks…streams and ditches in the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Severe debris flows can also be anticipated across roads. Roads and driveways may be washed away in places. If you encounter flood waters climb to safety. Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

GarCo 911

July 22, 2021, 4:40 p.m.: I-70 is closed between mile-markers 116 and 133 both directions, Glenwood Springs and Dotsero, due to a flash flood warning.

National Weather Service

July 22, 2021, 12 p.m.: A flash flood watch is in effect for the Grizzly Creek Fire burn area through the evening. The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has expanded the flash flood watch to include portions of northwest Colorado and west central Colorado, including the following areas, in northwest Colorado, Flat Tops. In west central Colorado, Central Colorado River Basin and Gore and Elk mountains/Central Mountain valleys.

National Weather Service meteorologists are monitoring the possibility for heavy rainfall over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn area, which may lead to flash flooding and debris flows.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

Monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

CDOT: I-70 westbound open in Glenwood Canyon after debris flows and Colorado River impacts

CDOT: Travelers should prepare for weather-related disruptions and road closures through at least next week

Colorado Department of Transportation

Ongoing flash flood watches and warnings due to monsoon rains are likely

STATEWIDE — As an ongoing monsoon weather pattern increases flooding and mudslide risks throughout Colorado, travelers need to plan ahead and double-check weather warnings and COtrip.org before hitting the road. Mudslides and flooding have closed multiple roads in the last 24 hours, and are likely to do so again. CDOT crews are coordinating statewide to respond to slides, clean up debris and manage traffic impacts along affected roadways. We appreciate motorists’ patience as we work as quickly and safely as possible to clear roadways while also monitoring for more rain and mudslides. 

“Between the unrelenting weather forecast and the impacts we are seeing throughout Colorado, CDOT is asking travelers to take extra precautions, plan for additional time and double-check conditions before traveling,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Our crews will continue to monitor conditions closely and take what steps we can to keep people safe and return to normal as the weather allows. Once weather passes and crews can evaluate the impacts to the roadway, we are removing rocks and debris and making sure the road surface is safe before reopening.” 

Weather forecasts from the National Weather Service show the monsoon season will be in full effect during the next 7-10 days. Slow moving storms are anticipated, with the ability to drop a significant amount of precipitation. This afternoon, forecasters are monitoring storms building south of I-70 and across Colorado’s mountains. Central Larimer County, including the Cameron Peak burn scar, is under a Flash Flood Warning until 4:30 p.m. today. Thunderstorms producing heavy rain and resulting in additional flooding are expected. Weather forecasters are also monitoring potential impacts for several burn areas including Grizzly Creek, Cameron Peak and East Troublesome burn scars.

Several major roads remain affected by mudslides that were triggered yesterday afternoon and evening and earlier today, including: 

  • I-70 in Glenwood Canyon continues to be closed between Exit 87 (West Rifle) and Exit 133 (Dotsero). The closure began at 8:45pm on Tuesday, July 20, due to a Flash Flood Warning and then mudslides. Crews are clearing five mudslides and will be assessing weather this afternoon and evening. There are three slides on eastbound I-70, at Mile Points 127.5 to 128.5, that consist of mostly water and soupy mud. A fourth slide on westbound lanes is located from MP 130.5 to Exit 129 (Bair Ranch) and has more solid material, including small rocks. A fifth slide took place on the Bair Ranch exit off-ramp. It also contains more solid material with small rocks.
  • CO 14 in Larimer County has now opened following mudslides triggered yesterday evening. 
  • CO 125 between Cabin Creek and Buffalo Creek in Grand County: a mudslide around 2:30 p.m. today has closed the road in this area; more details will be available as crews respond.
  • CO 133 near McClure Pass and south of Carbondale is open with one alternating lane of traffic. Crews have cleared one lane through an 8 foot mudslide from Tuesday night; two smaller slides also reached the road. Clean up may last longer than usual due to continuing slides in the area. Motorists should plan for delays.

“Landslides can travel several miles and create an avalanche of earth, mud, and debris. These natural disasters are fast-moving and come with force,” explains Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Advance preparation can make a big difference in your safety and survival. Pay attention to the weather forecast and stay alert by looking for the landslide signs like unusual sounds, including rocks knocking together, or trees cracking.”

“We know that flooding is a high risk after wildfires, and our Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) has been working proactively with affected communities to raise awareness and enhance preparedness for these types of events,” said Stan Hilkey, Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety. “Local communities have done an excellent job responding rapidly to the floods and mudslides this week, particularly in Larimer County where they have sadly seen losses. DHSEM and the State Patrol will continue to support efforts to open roads quickly and work on solutions for a quick recovery.” 

COtrip.org will continue to have the latest information on travel conditions throughout the state, even as conditions change quickly.

CDOT: Travelers should prepare for weather-related disruptions and road closures through at least next week