Rockfall risk: The impact of Sunday night and Monday’s early-season snowstorm on the Grizzly Creek Fire burn area in Glenwood Canyon is being monitored, but is not an immediate threat, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
“Our crews noted 5 inches of snow in Glenwood Canyon with this storm,” CDOT Northwest Region Communications Manager Elise Thatcher said. “We do not anticipate that the snowfall will affect the burn area, aside from putting down some moisture which will help with recovery.”
For now, the snow should not increase the rockfall danger, though rockfall is possible from the freeze-thaw effect brought by the snowstorm and cold temperatures.
“That is hard to predict,” Thatcher said. “If it rains on top of the snow, then we will be monitoring for soil flows, which could bring down rocks.”
UPDATE 3:15 p.m. — Interstate 70 has been reopened west of Glenwood Springs at Silt and Parachute after multiple crashes earlier Monday, according to the latest highway closure information posted to Colorado Department of Transportation’s cotrip.org. Check there for any changes in the status of I-70 and other highways in the region and across the state.
Schools decisions: Two Rivers Community School in Glenwood Springs is joining Ross Montessori in Carbondale are canceling school for Monday due to the weather conditions.
The Roaring Fork Schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt are still planning to be in session for the second week of in-person classes for K-3 and the initial return of grades 4-8 to classrooms.
And, Garfield Re-2 schools announced late Sunday that schools in New Castle, Silt and Rifle will be online only on Monday.
“Many of our students and families travel significant distances on the highway to get to school, including our school buses,” Two Rivers School said in a late Sunday announcement to parents. “At this time, the roads are in terrible shape and the storm is not forecasted to let up until morning. We have historically followed RE-1’s decisions for school closures, but sometimes we have felt the need to make decisions independently.”
Monday will not be a remote learning day for Two Rivers or Ross, as many teachers and students do not have the necessary materials prepared to teach online.
The Roaring Fork School District sent a reminder late Sunday on how it makes its snow day decisions, and followed up with an announcement just before 7 a.m. Monday that schools will be in session for K-8, while high schools remain online. School buses would still be running Monday, but parents and students could expect delays of 10-20 minutes because of the weather.
“The Roaring Fork Schools will be open today,” the district said in its statement. “We know it’s snowy out there, so please drive safely. And welcome back to in-person learning to all students in grades 4-8.
“When we decide to hold school during inclement weather, it is because we have determined it is safe to do so after following the process outlined [on the district website]. Parents always have the right to keep students home from school, take them to school, or provide transportation to school later when the roads are less of a concern if they feel the road conditions are unsafe.”
As a general policy, “In the event of a snow day, no school will be held through distance learning because not all teachers have access to teaching materials; not all K-3 students have access to their devices; students in grades 4-8 are transitioning to in-person learning, and we do not have fallback schedules or lesson plans for distance learning tomorrow; and teachers cannot provide synchronous distance learning without childcare.”
Aspen Schools, meanwhile, postponed the scheduled return to in-person learning for middle school and high school students, the Aspen School District announced Sunday. Students will have remote learning Monday.
Highways reopened: Interstate 70 through Garfield County reopened overnight after a lengthy closure on Sunday due to the snowstorm that swept over Colorado. However, local and state emergency officials are urging motorists to take it slow and not travel unless necessary.
“If you must be out, please reduce your speeds and drive with care,” the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is advising. “There are many vehicles on the side of the road, please be aware, and stay safe out there.”
CMC closes Spring Valley campus; Glenwood Center is open: Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Campus will be closed Monday because of the weather and power outage. The Glenwood Center is open.
Staff that can work remotely are encouraged to do so, the college said in a news release. “Classes are in session today and are encouraged to operate remotely. Students should communicate with faculty with questions.”
LIFT-UP Carbondale food distribution postponed: Due to winter weather and road conditions, the LIFT-UP Carbondale Food Distribution scheduled for Monday has been moved to Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 12 – 2 p.m. Food Distribution will take place at Third Street Center in Carbondale. For additional information, contact the LIFT-UP Admin Office at (970) 625-4496.
This is a developing story and will be updated.