UPDATE: Glenwood Canyon reopened Monday evening, but Flash Flood Watch remains in effect
Watch remains in effect until 10 p.m., according to weather service
UPDATE 6 p.m. Monday: Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon reopened in both directions at 5:33 p.m. Monday night, but a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect until 10 p.m., according to the latest alerts.
“A Flash Flood Warning that had been effect for the Grizzly Creek burn area is now a Flash Flood Watch,” the Colorado Department of Transportation advised in a news release issued at 6:10 p.m. Monday. “There were no debris flow or mudslides during the (earlier) Flash Flood Warning. Crews are reopening eastbound and westbound lanes and will be on standby through the evening.
Updates are being posted to cotrip.org.
Rest areas and the recreation path along I-70 in Glenwood Canyon remain closed for safety reasons. The closure affects the Shoshone Power Plant and Grizzly Creek river put-ins. Also, CDOT advises that bicycles are allowed on the interstate.
A Flash Flood Warning had been issued just before 5 p.m. by the National Weather Service for the area including the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar. That closed Interstate 70 in both directions through Glenwood Canyon for less than an hour before traffic was allowed to proceed.
Another closure of Glenwood Canyon remains possible if a second Flash Flood Warning is issued.
“Motorists can either seek the northern alternate route via Steamboat Springs or they may wait out (a) Flash Flood Warning and safety closure,” CDOT said in an earlier release. “Motorists who decide to wait out the closure must wait at a location off I-70, and will not be allowed to wait on the roadway.”
If another closure occurs, only local eastbound traffic heading to Glenwood Springs or the Roaring Fork Valley would allowed through, but traffic delays should be anticipated.
The recommended detour route is to the north. Eastbound traffic should take state Highway 13 at Rifle to U.S. 40 through Craig and Steamboat Springs and back to I-70 via either state Highway 131 to Wolcott or Highway 9 to Silverthorne. The reverse route is recommended for westbound traffic.
The alternate route requires about 2.5 hours of additional travel time.
Cottonwood Pass and Independence Pass are not advised for through traffic, and commercial vehicles and RVs are not allowed on those routes.
The first flood warning came less than 20 minutes after the National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for the area late Monday afternoon. The new watch is in now effect until 10 p.m.
“If a debris flow or mudslide occurs, motorists should be aware that I-70 will be closed for a longer period of time to allow maintenance crews to clear the highway,” CDOT advised.
Multiple mud and debris flows in Glenwood Canyon on Saturday closed I-70 overnight and into Sunday.
This is a developing story will be updated.