Mudslide stalls traffic on Hwy. 133
July 3, 2009
REDSTONE – A series of mudslides temporarily closed part of Colorado 133 between Carbondale and Redstone Friday, as slow-moving thunderstorms pounded northwest Colorado.
Carbondale firefighters said storms also left debris along Highway 82, but no injuries were reported.
Heavy rains prompted the National Weather Service to issue flash flood warning for parts of Delta, Mesa, Gunnison, Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties.
A National Weather Service flash flood warning was in effect for Eagle County and northern Pitkin County until 6 p.m.
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 area.
Runoff from that amount of rainfall was likely to cause flash flooding. Towns in the flood warning area included Basalt, Snowmass, Eagle, Gypsum and Avon.
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“Flooding is occurring or is imminent,” said the National Weather Service alert. “It is important to know where you are relative to streams, rivers, or creeks, which can become killers in heavy rains. Campers and hikers should avoid streams or creeks.
Mountain Rescue Aspen also warned that, due to 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.”