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 48 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.
“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.
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.
"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.