The incident occurred Thursday night after debris from burn scars around the site of the Grizzly Creek fire – which burned more than 32,000 acres last August – spilled onto I-70 near the Hanging Lake tunnel in Glenwood Canyon, according to the Colorado Department. transport (CDOT).
“Tunnel CDOT staff assisted travelers who were trapped on I-70 by debris flows and sought refuge in the Hanging Lake tunnel; 29 motorists took refuge in the tunnel complex overnight. In total, the CDOT counted 108 people who have now been evacuated from Glenwood Canyon or have been moved to a place of safety ”, CDOT said in a press release.
Heavy rains have flooded the area
over the past few days with frequent flash flood warnings. Thursday night, after a second flash warning for Glenwood Canyon, “Mudslides and debris hit I-70 within minutes,” CDOT said.
This resulted in at least 29 vehicles stranded on the highway. CDOT said it was “extremely confident” that they had included everyone in each vehicle.
The highway will remain closed over the weekend due to the cleanup and because more rain is forecast for the area, CDOT said.
Glenwood Canyon is located approximately 156 miles west of Denver, Colorado.