Heavy rain closes Highway 133 near Redstone
July 4, 2009
REDSTONE – Multiple mudslides temporarily closed part of State Highway 133 between Carbondale and Redstone Friday afternoon, as slow-moving thunderstorms pounded northwest Colorado.
Carbondale firefighters said storms also left debris along Highway 82 between Carbondale and Basalt, but no injuries were reported.
No accidents or injuries resulted from multiple mudslides that occurred along Highway 133 south of Carbondale, Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nancy Shanks said.
The highway was initially closed at 2 p.m. Friday for about 13 miles – from just south of Carbondale to the south Redstone entrance.
“The closure had to be extended when it kept raining and more mudslides occurred,” she said. “There were multiple mudslides, up to five, which varied from one to two feet deep up to the center line of the highway.”
Shanks did not have an estimate for when the highway would reopen, indicating CDOT crews would work into the night to haul debris from the roadway. The closure advisory will be removed from CDOT’s online travel alert service, at http://www.cotrip.org. Updated Colorado travel information can also be obtained by calling 511.
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Heavy rains Friday afternoon prompted the National Weather Service to issue flash flood warning for parts of Delta, Mesa, Gunnison, Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties.
Shortly after 3 p.m., the National Weather Service Doppler Radar indicated heavy thunderstorms moving slowly across the central mountains. Rainfall was estimated in excess of 3 inches per hour in parts of the flood alert area.
In such situations, it is important to know where you are relative to streams, rivers or creeks, which can become killers in heavy rains, the National Weather Service warns.
“Campers and hikers should avoid streams or creeks,” according to a NWS press release.
Mountain Rescue Aspen also warns that, because of unseasonable rains and rapid snowmelt, extreme caution is urged when crossing backcountry streams.
“Early in the morning streams can be at much lower levels than after the day heats up and especially if rain occurs,” according to a Mountain Rescue press release. “Even a foot of rapidly moving water can cause loss of balance and water up to the knees has caused drowning of fallen hikers in the past. Know how you will get back if the stream you cross in the morning has swollen during your outing.”