As most of you reading this blog know, I-70 has been plagued by mudslides around the Glenwood Canyon area. This blog post will serve as an informational resource on why this is happening and when future ones may occur.
Let's dive in…
The exact spot of these mudslides has been in the area where the Grizzly Creek Fire occurred last year… Remember when I-70 was nearly closed for three weeks? Yeah we do too. The Grizzly Creek Fire’s burn scar has greatly affected the land and vegetation that was once stable and deeply rooted prior to the fire.
What does this mean for the I-70 Things Community for the next few years? Let check out this well written description below from the United States Geological Survey aka USGS on what happens to the land after a fire.
“Post-fire landslide hazards include fast-moving, highly destructive debris flows that can occur in the years immediately after wildfires in response to high intensity rainfall events, and those flows that are generated over longer time periods accompanied by root decay and loss of soil strength. Post-fire debris flows are particularly hazardous because they can occur with little warning, can exert great impulsive loads on objects in their paths, and can strip vegetation, block drainage ways, damage structures, and endanger human life.” - USGS Website*
So where do we stand now?
In short, watch out and be careful when traveling through Glenwood Canyon for the next few years. This is especially important when there's any sort of rainfall. Flash floods and mudslides are nearly inevitable given the recent heavy rainstorms. As you’ve seen from the instagram content this has caused mud and debris including large boulders and heavy logs to be displaced onto the highway repeatedly.
It would be interesting to learn more about mitigation options such as potential revegetation efforts in the area, but it does seem like a difficult task to undertake due to the steep geography of the canyon.
For now all we hope is that the I-70 Things Community is safe and aware of the present danger in the Glenwood Canyon area. As always we’ll do our best to give you a heads up when we hear of a mudslide closure to ensure “smooth sailing” for the community.
Have any questions? Feel free to ask your questions in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
July 3rd’s Mudslide - POV of a first hand account of getting stuck in a Canyon mudslide
PS: We’re a small team. So if you’d like to be a guest blog writer and have an interesting topic or a wild I-70 story that you’d like to share please email us at email@example.com. Also if you’re an expert in an applicable industry we’d love to interview you.