Hwy 133 reopens after mudslides | PostIndependent.com

Hwy 133 reopens after mudslides

REDSTONE, Colorado – Highway 133 south of Carbondale was reopened late Friday evening, after a series of mudslides temporarily closed a 13-mile stretch between Carbondale and Redstone earlier in the day.

Carbondale firefighters said storms also left debris along Highway 82 Friday, but no injuries were reported.

No vehicles were involved or injuries reported 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.”

The closure alert was removed from CDOT’s online travel alert service, at http://www.cotrip.org, later in the evening Friday. Udated Colorado travel information can also be obtained by calling 511.

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, 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 MR-A 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.”

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