UPDATE: Glenwood Canyon rest areas to remain closed overnight due to flash flood concerns
UPDATE: The Colorado Department of Transportation has extended its safety closure for the Grizzly Creek, Hanging Lake and Shoshone exits/rest areas overnight due to a flash flood watch that remains in effect.
“During a flash flood watch, CDOT has crews and equipment on standby in preparation for a closure of I-70,” the agency advised in a Saturday evening update. “If there is a flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek burn scar, CDOT will close I-70 in Glenwood Canyon from Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) to Exit 133 (Dotsero). Only local traffic on I-70 will be allowed east of Exit 109.”
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Grizzly Creek burn scar and surrounding areas, effective overnight.
The flood watch was issued just before 2:30 p.m. Saturday and includes the portions of Glenwood Canyon east of Glenwood Springs where the Grizzly Creek Fire burned last summer.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has issued a related safety closure for the rest areas and the recreation path along Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon.
“This safety closure will affect the Shoshone Power Plant along with the Grizzly Creek, Hanging Lake and Bair Ranch rest areas due to weather forecasts calling for rainfall above the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar,” a CDOT alert posted to cotrip.org states.
The larger watch area includes the Colorado River Basin, the Flat Tops and the Gore and Elk Mountain ranges.
“National Weather Service meteorologists are forecasting the potential for heavy rainfall over the Grizzly Creek burn area from thunderstorms,” according to the alert, which was shared via the Pitkin County Emergency Alert system.
“This rain may lead to flash flooding and debris flows over and near the burn scar,” the alert states. “The threat for heavy rain will continue through the early evening hours.”
Anyone within the flood watch area, including motorists traveling Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon, are advised to monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should a flood warning be issued, the NWS alert states.
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or email@example.com.
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