UPDATE: I-70 in Glenwood Canyon reopens Sunday night after flash flood threat passes
UPDATE Sunday 9:45 p.m. — Interstate 70 has reopened in both directions through Glenwood Canyon following a safety closure due to a flash flood warning.
A closure was in place late Sunday on I-70 in DeBeque Canyon due to mud and debris flows between DeBeque and Palisade.
Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon is again closed in both directions Sunday evening due to flash flood warning. The widespread warning includes the Pine Gulch Fire burn scar in far western Garfield County, as well.
The warning and closure alert was issued a little after 8 p.m. Sunday. The closure points are at milemarkers 87 at west Rifle and 133 at Dotsero.
Traffic is being advised to hold until the flood warning is lifted, which is scheduled for 8:45 p.m., unless flooding occurs. In that case, motorists should prepared to take the northern detour route via U.S. 40.
According to a National Weather Service alert issued at 6:51 p.m., Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Pine Gulch Fire burn area. “The expected rainfall rate is 0.5 to 1 inch in 1 hour. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly,” according to the alert.
“Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flow moving through the Pine Gulch Burn area. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.
“This is a life threatening situation. Heavy rainfall will cause extensive and severe flash flooding of creeks … streams … and ditches in the Pine Gulch Fire Burn Area. Severe debris flows can also be anticipated across roads. Roads and driveways may be washed away in places. If you encounter flood waters … climb to safety.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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