GCECA: Glenwood Canyon reopened to traffic

Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority

Sept. 29, 2021, 1:07 p.m.: Interstate 70 is again open in both directions between mile markers 87 and 133 in both east-and westbound lanes, west Rifle to Dotsero.

Colorado Department of Transportation

Water and debris flow onto Interstate 70 in Glenwood canyon, necessitating a closure.

Sept. 29, 2021, 9:18 a.m.: I-70 through Glenwood Canyon is closed due to Flash Flood Warning and mudflow

The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Interstate 70 in both directions through Glenwood Canyon at mile points 133 (Dotsero) and MP 116 (Glenwood Springs) due to a Flash Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service at 8:10 a.m. today, Sept. 29. The Flash Flood Warning is in effect through 1 p.m. barring any changes to the forecast. Some mudflow in the Canyon was also detected. Motorists should plan on Glenwood Canyon being closed through the remainder of the Flash Flood Warning.

A traffic control point is in place at eastbound Exit 87 (West Rifle) to guide motorists to the northern alternate route (see map below). Visitors and local traffic traveling eastbound to Glenwood Springs and destinations in the Roaring Fork Valley can continue down US 6 and enter back on eastbound I-70 at Exit 90 (Main Rifle), Exit 97 (Silt) or Exit 105 (New Castle).

CDOT crews will continue to assess the burn scar area and will determine if it is safe to reopen when the Warning is lifted. In the event that a new mudslide occurs or a significant amount of slide materials from the mudslide path blocks the interstate, the closure may be extended past the Flash Flood Warning being lifted. Motorists should monitor COtrip.org for road closure information and continue to check the weather forecast before traveling in this area or through the mountains. 

Motorists are urged to continue tuning into weather forecasts and checking COtrip.org before traveling through the Canyon this holiday weekend and prepare for closures. 

TRAFFIC IMPACTS: 

  • Full closure of I-70 between Dotsero (MP 133) and Glenwood Springs (MP 116) – Motorists are strongly encouraged to use the recommended northern alternate route
    • 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.

ENCOUNTERING INCLEMENT WEATHER

Heavy rains and summer storms can lead to challenging driving conditions. Colorado highways, particularly those in mountainous areas, can be vulnerable to the impacts of weather and the natural environment. It is important that the traveling public be aware of summer weather conditions and forecasts. Just as motorists prepare for driving in the winter time, during summer months, travelers should also be ready for heavy rain storms, hail storms and what can potentially occur after those storms – flooding, mudslides and falling rocks.

WHY CLOSURES ARE NEEDED

The safety of motorists is vital. When CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol determine that a road must be closed, the decision is made to protect everyone including motorists and response crews. The need for some closures is obvious – mudslides cover the highway, large boulders tumble onto the road, or a severe vehicle crash occurs. 

If you are stuck in a closure waiting for a road to be cleared of mud or rocks, do not leave your car unless absolutely necessary. Never hang out in the grassy median located between lanes. If traffic is moving in the opposite direction, the median can be a hazardous area. Emergency response vehicles and heavy equipment may also need the median area to move about and access the emergency scene.

BE PREPARED

Highway closures can last for as little as a few minutes or for as long as several hours. When drivers set out on a trip, especially through high country roads or the I-70 mountain corridor, it would be wise to have the car supplied with an emergency kit. The kit should contain at the very minimum: water, snacks, flashlight, and a blanket. Remember to also carry water for your pets if you’re traveling with animals. You may even consider packing some items to keep you or children occupied while waiting in the car. Activity books, colored pencils or a deck of cards can help pass the time.

DRIVER SAFETY

Heavy rains can cause flooding, mudslides and rock falls in regions downstream and on roadways adjacent to canyons, steep slopes or cliff walls. While I-70 through Glenwood Canyon will close well before there is a potential for flooding on the highway, motorists may drive up onto a flooded area on other mountainous roads and should follow the several precautions listed below:

  • Never drive through any flooded area, you do not know how deep or how fast the water is running.
  • Even 8-10 inches of water can float an average-sized car, which can be easily swept off the road.
  • Driving too fast on wet roads or in flooded areas can cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Never use your cruise control during rainy conditions with standing water on the roadway.
  • Any amount of flooding or mud can obstruct the roadway and hinder drivers from knowing exactly where to drive. If you cannot see the roadway, be smart and wait for the water to subside.
  • Water and mud can contain unknown hazards hidden under the surface – rocks or other debris, like plant material and tree branches.

Sept. 29, 2021, 9 a.m.: I-70 in Glenwood Canyon is closed at Exit 87 (West Rifle), Exit 109 (Canyon Creek), Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) and Exit 133 (Dotsero), due to flash flooding potential for the Grizzly Creek burn scar. A flash flood warning is in effect for the burn scar. Local eastbound traffic on I-70 will be allowed east of Exit 109, but motorists should expect delays. Eastbound I-70 detour: CO 13 Rifle to Craig, east on US 40 to Steamboat over Rabbit Ears Pass to Kremmling down CO 9 to Silverthorne. Westbound I-70 detour: See prior route, in reverse.

National Weather Service

Sept. 29, 2021, 8:41 a.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 1 p.m. MDT.

At 8:41 a.m. MDT, emergency management reported thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Flash flooding is already occurring.

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: Emergency management reported.

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. This includes the following highways Interstate 70 in Colorado between mile markers 116 and 129.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

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.

Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority

Sept. 29, 2021, 8:40 a.m.: Interstate 70 is closed between mile markers 87 and 133 eastbound, west Rifle and Dotsero, and mile markers 133 to 116 westbound, Dotsero to Glenwood Springs, due to a flash flood warning with debris flow.

GCECA: Glenwood Canyon reopened to traffic

NWS: Flash flood warning issued for the Grizzly Creek burn area in Glenwood Canyon – Interstate 70 closed

Garco 911

Aug. 18, 2021, 6:31 p.m. – Hwy 6 is open between mile-markers 92 to the 99 both directions, Rifle to Silt.

Aug. 18, 2021, 5:25 p.m. – Hwy 6 is closed between mile-markers 92 to the 99 both directions, Rifle to Silt, due to an accident.

Colorado Department of Transportation

Aug. 18, 2021, 4:44 p.m. – The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Interstate 70 in both directions through Glenwood Canyon at mile points 133 (Dotsero) and MP 116 (Glenwood Springs) due to a Flash Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service at 4:20 p.m. today, Wednesday, Aug. 18. The Flash Flood Warning is in effect until this evening. Motorists should plan on Glenwood Canyon being closed through the remainder of the Flash Flood Warning.

A traffic control point is in place at eastbound Exit 87 (West Rifle) to guide motorists to the northern alternate route (see map below).Visitors and local traffic traveling eastbound to Glenwood Springs and destinations in the Roaring Fork Valley can continue down US 6 and enter back on eastbound I-70 at Exit 90 (Main Rifle), Exit 97 (Silt) or Exit 105 (New Castle).

CDOT crews will continue to assess the burn scar area and will determine if it is safe to reopen when the Warning is lifted. In the event that a new mudslide occurs or a significant amount of debris from the mudslide path blocks the interstate, the closure may be extended past the Flash Flood Warning being lifted. Motorists should monitor COtrip.org for road closure information and continue to check the weather forecast before traveling in this area or through the mountains. 

TRAFFIC IMPACTS: 

  • Full closure of I-70 between Dotsero (MP 133) and Glenwood Springs (MP 116) – Motorists are strongly encouraged to use the recommended northern alternate route
    • 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. 

ENCOUNTERING INCLEMENT WEATHER

Heavy rains and summer storms can lead to challenging driving conditions. Colorado highways, particularly those in mountainous areas, can be vulnerable to the impacts of weather and the natural environment. It is important that the traveling public be aware of summer weather conditions and forecasts. Just as motorists prepare for driving in the winter time, during summer months, travelers should also be ready for heavy rain storms, hail storms and what can potentially occur after those storms – flooding, mudslides and falling rocks.

WHY CLOSURES ARE NEEDED

The safety of motorists is vital. When CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol determine that a road must be closed, the decision is made to protect everyone including motorists and response crews. The need for some closures is obvious – mudslides cover the highway, large boulders tumble onto the road, or a severe vehicle crash occurs. 

If you are stuck in a closure waiting for a road to be cleared of mud or rocks, do not leave your car unless absolutely necessary. Never hang out in the grassy median located between lanes. If traffic is moving in the opposite direction, the median can be a hazardous area. Emergency response vehicles and heavy equipment may also need the median area to move about and access the emergency scene.

BE PREPARED

Highway closures can last for as little as a few minutes or for as long as several hours. When drivers set out on a trip, especially through high country roads or the I-70 mountain corridor, it would be wise to have the car supplied with an emergency kit. The kit should contain at the very minimum: water, snacks, flashlight, and a blanket. Remember to also carry water for your pets if you’re traveling with animals. You may even consider packing some items to keep you or children occupied while waiting in the car. Activity books, colored pencils or a deck of cards can help pass the time.

DRIVER SAFETY

Heavy rains can cause flooding, mudslides and rock falls in regions downstream and on roadways adjacent to canyons, steep slopes or cliff walls. While I-70 through Glenwood Canyon will close well before there is a potential for flooding on the highway, motorists may drive up onto a flooded area on other mountainous roads and should follow the several precautions listed below:

  • Never drive through any flooded area, you do not know how deep or how fast the water is running.
  • Even 8-10 inches of water can float an average-sized car, which can be easily swept off the road.
  • Driving too fast on wet roads or in flooded areas can cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Never use your cruise control during rainy conditions with standing water on the roadway.
  • Any amount of flooding or mud can obstruct the roadway and hinder drivers from knowing exactly where to drive. If you cannot see the roadway, be smart and wait for the water to subside.
  • Water and mud can contain unknown hazards hidden under the surface – rocks or other debris, like plant material and tree branches.

Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority

Aug. 18, 2021, 4:32 p.m. – Interstate 70 is closed between mile markers 133 and 87 in both directions, Dotsero to West Rifle, due to a flash flood warning.

National Weather Service

Aug. 18, 2021, 4:20 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 and East Central Garfield County in west central Colorado until 7:15 p.m. MDT. Interstate 70 is closed in Glenwood Canyon during the flash flood warning.

At 4:20 p.m. MDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. The expected rainfall rate is 0.7 to 1 inch in 1 hour. 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: RADAR INDICATED

FLASH FLOOD DAMAGE THREAT: CONSIDERABLE

EXPECTED RAINFALL: 0.7-1 INCH IN 1 HOUR

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.

NWS: Flash flood warning issued for the Grizzly Creek burn area in Glenwood Canyon – Interstate 70 closed

COGS: No outdoor water use in Glenwood Springs

Garco 911

12:27 pm, July 30 – Glenwood Springs: No outdoor water use until Wednesday, August 4th at 6:00 pm. A message will be sent when the issue has been resolved.

City of Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs issues increased water use restrictions for July 31 until August 2
9:32 pm, July 30, 2021

NO LAWN WATERING or outdoor usage restriction implemented 

Glenwood Springs, Colo. – The City of Glenwood Springs has issued increased water restrictions for July 31, 2021 until 8 a.m. on August 2, 2021 following heavy rains over both the Grizzly Creek and Lake Christine burn scars and heavy debris into the Roaring Fork River and No Name Creek. No exterior water use including lawn watering, washing cars, and filling pools. Water remains safe for regular indoor use and consumption.

“Right now, all of our water tanks in town are at a good level for indoor water use, but we expect the debris in our water supplies to remain rather heavy with all the recent rain,” said Public Works Director Matt Langhorst. “Forecasts indicate there is still more rain to come which likely means even more debris, so it is important that everyone take action now to tun off outdoor water systems, which use very high amounts of water, until the debris lessens.”

The City is working with large water users on the City water to turn off outdoor water systems. Water restriction violations can be reported to Glenwood Police at 970-384-6500. These restrictions will be reviewed daily.

Debris flows

There have been several slides into the water supplies. 

“For a sense of how much debris we’re clearing, we currently have a turbidity reading of about 300-400 NTU coming from the Roaring Fork and approximately 4,000 NTU from No Name. A typical reading for our water sources is less than 6 NTU,” said Langhorst.

NTU stands for nephelometric turbidity units and is a measurement for cloudiness in water. Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA
1 de agosto de 2021

Glenwood Springs emite mayores restricciones de uso de agua al aire libre del 31 de julio hasta el 2 de agosto

Se implementan restricciones de NO REGAR EL CÉSPED o de uso de agua en exteriores

Glenwood Springs, Colorado – La ciudad de Glenwood Springs ha emitido un aumento de las restricciones de uso del agua del 31 de julio de 2021 hasta las 8 a.m. del 2 de agosto de 2021 después de las fuertes lluvias sobre las marcas de los incendios de Grizzly Creek y el lago Christine y los fuertes escombros en el río Roaring Fork y No Name Creek. No se podrá utilizar el agua en el exterior, incluyendo el riego del césped, el lavado de coches y el llenado de piscinas. El agua sigue siendo segura para su uso y consumo en interiores.

En este momento, todos nuestros tanques de agua en la ciudad están en un buen nivel para el uso de agua en interiores, pero esperamos que los escombros en nuestros suministros de agua sigan siendo bastante pesados con toda la lluvia reciente”, dijo el Director de Obras Públicas Matt Langhorst. “Los pronósticos indican que todavía hay más lluvia por venir, lo que probablemente significa aún más escombros, por lo que es importante que todos tomen medidas ahora para apagar los sistemas de agua al aire libre, que utilizan cantidades muy altas de agua, hasta que los escombros disminuyan”.

La ciudad está trabajando con los grandes usuarios de agua de la ciudad para apagar los sistemas de agua al aire libre. Las violaciones a las restricciones de agua pueden reportarse a la policía de Glenwood al 970-384-6500. Estas restricciones se revisarán diariamente.

Flujos de escombros

Ha habido varios deslizamientos en los suministros de agua.

“Para tener una idea de la cantidad de escombros que estamos despejando, actualmente tenemos una lectura de turbidez de alrededor de 300-400 NTU procedentes del Roaring Fork y aproximadamente 4.000 NTU de No Name. Una lectura típica para nuestras fuentes de agua es de menos de 6 NTU”, dijo Langhorst.

NTU son las siglas de unidades nefelométricas de turbidez y es una medida de la nubosidad del agua. La turbidez es la nubosidad o la confusión de un fluido causada por un gran número de partículas individuales que suelen ser invisibles a simple vista, como el humo en el aire. La medición de la turbidez es una prueba clave de la calidad del agua.

Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority

8:18 pm, July 31, 2021

Glenwood Springs: No outdoor water use until Monday August 2nd at 8:00 am. A message will be sent when the issue has been resolved.

COGS: No outdoor water use in Glenwood Springs

Flash Flood Warning for Pine Gulch Fire area

Flash Flood Warning
National Weather Service Grand Junction CO
651 PM MDT Sun Jul 25 2021

Map of Flash Flood Warning area

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a

* Flash Flood Warning for…the Pine Gulch Fire Burn Area in…southwestern Garfield County in west central Colorado…north Central Mesa County in west central Colorado…

* Until 845 PM MDT.

* At 651 PM MDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Pine Gulch Fire burn area. The expected rainfall rate is 0.5 to 1 inch in 1 hour. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly.

Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flow moving through the Pine Gulch Burn 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 Pine Gulch Fire burn area.

SOURCE…Radar.

IMPACT…Life threatening flash flooding of areas in and around the Pine Gulch Fire Burn Area.

* Some locations that will experience flash flooding include…mainly rural areas of southwestern Garfield and north central Mesa counties.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

This is a life threatening situation. Heavy rainfall will cause extensive and severe flash flooding of creeks…streams…and ditches in the Pine Gulch 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.

Flash Flood Warning for Pine Gulch Fire area

NWS: Flash Flood Watch for Grizzly Creek Fire burn area; I-70 reopened in Glenwood Canyon

Garco 911

July 24, 5:27 pm – I-70 is open between mile markers 87 West Rifle in both directions, and mile marker 133 Dotsero.

Colorado Department of Transportation

July 24, 5:21 pm – Glenwod Canyon is cleared and crews are reopening all closures. Crews will remain on standby until WATCH expires at 9 pm. Eastbound will continue to have a single lane closure in place.

National Weather Service

Central Colorado River Basin-Gore and Elk Mountains/Central Mountain Valleys-Flat Tops
438 PM MDT Sat Jul 24 2021

Flash Flood Watch map

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR THE GRIZZLY CREEK FIRE BURN AREA IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM MDT THIS 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.

* Until 9 PM MDT this evening.

* National Weather Service Meteorologists are forecasting possible heavy rainfall over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area, which may lead to flash flooding and debris flows.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

Garco 911

July 24, 3:41 pm: I-70 is closed between mile-markers 87 west Rifle both directions, 133 Dotsero, due to a flash flood warning.

National Weather Service

July 24, 3:28 pm
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 630 PM MDT.

* At 328 PM MDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. The expected rainfall rate is 0.2 to 0.5 inches in 1 hour.

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…RADAR INDICATED FLASH FLOOD DAMAGE THREAT…CONSIDERABLE EXPECTED RAINFALL…0.2-0.5 INCHES IN 1 HOUR.

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 24, 1:10 pm – I-70 is open between mile-markers 133 Dotsero eastbound and 116, Glenwood Springs exit.

Colorado Department of Transportation

July 24, 1:05 pm – I-70 eastbound and westbound between mile markers 116 and 133 in Glenwood Canyon is open following forecasted precipitation and debris flows over the Grizzly Creek burn area. There are several locations throughout the canyon that are down to one lane while crews continue clean up operations, so please slow down through the work zone. For the status of the road closure, please check cotrip.org or CDOT’s Twitter page, or call 5-1-1.

National Weather Service

Central Colorado River Basin-Gore and Elk Mountains/Central Mountain Valleys-Flat Tops
11:46 AM MDT Sat Jul 24 2021

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR THE GRIZZLY CREEK FIRE BURN AREA IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM MDT THIS EVENING…

Map of Flash Flood Watch area

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.

* Until 9 PM MDT this evening.

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

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

Garco 911

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

More info on Glenwood Canyon closure and Colorado River impacts

NWS: Flash Flood Watch for Grizzly Creek Fire burn area; I-70 reopened in 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

NWS: I-70 open; Flash Flood Warning expired for Glenwood Canyon

Garco911

July 13, 6:05 pm; I-70 is open between mile-markers 116 and 133 both directions, main Glenwood exit and Dotsero.

July 13, 5:23 pm; I-70 is closed at mile-marker 87 West Rifle EB, closure remains in place due to current storm cell in Rifle.

National Weather Service

July 13, 4:57 p.m.: Flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek Burn area expires at 5 p.m. for western Eagle and east central Garfield counties. The heavy rain has ended. Flash flooding is no longer expected to pose a threat. Please continue to heed remaining road closures.

GarCo911

July 13, 4:02 p.m.: The existing closure on I-70 has been moved from mile-marker mm109 EB, Canyon Creek exit, to mile-marker 87, West Rifle Exit.

July 13, 3:50 p.m.: The existing closure on I-70 has been moved from mile-marker mm 116 EB, main Glenwood exit, to mile-marker 109, Canyon Creek exit. Local traffic can get through.

Colorado Department of Transportation

Safety closure in place for I-70 Glenwood Canyon due to high potential of flash flooding

July 13, 3:15 p.m.: CDOT is putting a safety closure in place for Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon due to a Flash Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service. Closure points for westbound traffic will be Exit 133 (Dotsero) to Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs). Closure points for eastbound traffic will be from Exit 87 (West Rifle) to Exit 109 (Canyon Creek). The safety closure is in place to protect motorists from the potential of flash floods, mudslides, rockfall or other hazards that can be triggered by heavy rains at the location of Grizzly Creek burn scar area. The closure will remain in place through the duration of the Flash Flood Warning, which is forecast to end at 5 p.m. tonight.

GarCo911

July 13, 3:24 p.m.: I-70 is closed between mile-markers 116 and 133 both directions, main Glenwood exit and Dotsero, due to a flash flood warning.

National Weather Service

July 13, 3:06 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 5 p.m. MDT.

At 3:06 p.m. MDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain approaching the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Flash flooding is 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…RADAR INDICATED 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.

Central Colorado River Basin-Gore and Elk Mountains/Central Mountain Valleys-Flat Tops
1151 AM MDT Tue Jul 13 2021
Map of areas with Flash Flood Watch

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR THE GRIZZLY CREEK FIRE BURN AREA IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM MDT THIS EVENING…

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a

  • Flash Flood Watch for the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area in 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.
  • Until 8 PM MDT this evening.
  • National Weather Service Meteorologists are monitoring the potential for heavy rainfall over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area, which may lead to flash flooding and debris flows.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

Colorado Department of Transportation

July 13, 7:35 am
CDOT closed Grizzly Creek rest area at I-70 mile marker 121 eastbound and westbound today, as well as Shoshone rest area, mile marker 123 due to forecasted precipitation over the Grizzly Creek burn scar. Updates will be posted to cotrip.org.

NWS: I-70 open; Flash Flood Warning expired for Glenwood Canyon

CDOT: I-70 in Glenwood Canyon reopened – flash flood warning expired

June 29, 2021

Colorado Department of Transportation

Update, 8:15 pm
OPEN – I-70 Glenwood Canyon is open in both directions from Exit 87 (West Rifle) to Exit 133 (Dotsero). Grizzly Creek and Shoshone Power Plant rest areas will remain closed overnight. New updates will post to cotrip.org. (Final update for Tues. 6/29)

Update, 5:34 pm
A Flash Flood Warning is in effect for the Grizzly Creek Burn Scar. There is now a safety closure for I-70 in Glenwood Canyon between Exit 133 (Dotsero) and Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) westbound, and Exit 87 (West Rifle) and Exit 133 eastbound, with local traffic allowed through at exit 109 for Glenwood Springs.

The northern alternate route is now in place, but motorists can also wait out the Flash Flood Warning if they prefer. The warning is expected to end at 8 pm tonight (Tuesday). However, if a debris flow or mudslide occurs during the warning, I-70 will be closed for a longer period of time. Motorists that decide to wait out the closure MUST wait at a location off I-70, and will NOT be allowed to wait on the roadway. All updates will be posted to cotrip.org and comments on this post will not be monitored.

Garco911

Update, 5:23 pm
I-70 is closed both directions mile-marker 116 to 133, Glenwood Springs and Dotsero, due to a flash flood warning. The National Weather Service has upgraded the flash flood watch to a flash flood warning for Glenwood Canyon.

National Weather Service

Update, 5:06 pm
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a:

* Flash Flood Warning for…
The Grizzly Creek Burn Area in…
Western Eagle County in west central Colorado…
East Central Garfield County in west central Colorado…

* Until 800 PM MDT.

* At 505 PM MDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing
heavy rain over the Grizzly Creek 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 Burn Area.
SOURCE…Radar.
IMPACT…Life threatening flash flooding of areas in and around
the Grizzly Creek Burn Area.

* Some locations that will experience flash flooding include…
Shoshone.
FLASH FLOOD…RADAR INDICATED
FLASH FLOOD DAMAGE THREAT…CONSIDERABLE

Update, 11:22 a.m.
The National Weather Service has posted a hazardous weather outlook for Garfield County. A flash flood watch is in place for the Central Colorado River Basin until 9 p.m. this evening.

Colorado Department of Transportation

7:30 a.m.: The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has announced that rest areas are closed along Interstate 70, both eastbound and westbound, at Grizzly Creek (mile marker 121) and Shoshone (mile marker 123) due to forecast precipitation over the Grizzly Creek burn scar.

CDOT: I-70 in Glenwood Canyon reopened – flash flood warning expired