Flash flood causes mudslide near Rifle Gap | PostIndependent.com

Flash flood causes mudslide near Rifle Gap

A small mudslide on Highway 325 stopped traffic for about 20 minutes Saturday near Rifle Gap until about a dozen drivers pitched in to help Colorado Parks and Wildlife to clear the debris by hand.
Ryan Summerlin / Post Independent |

A fast and plentiful downpour Saturday caused a small mudslide on Highway 325 between Rifle Falls State Park and Rifle Gap State Park.

The slide led to a brief closure of the road as motorists made their way down from Rifle Falls and Rifle Mountain Park. Some of those traveling on the road exited their vehicles and assisted Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials in removing rocks and larger debris from one lane of the highway.

Colorado Department of Transportation arrived on the scene to remove the rest of the mud and rocks that flowed into the road.

According to Amy Ford, CDOT communications director, the mudslide was caused by a flash flood, which is not unheard of in an area with steep hillsides and sparse vegetation along segments of the highway.

“That area it tends to be prone to (mudslides) just a little bit,” Ford said.

The National Weather Service measured .79 inches of precipitation Saturday, July 2, at the Rifle Garfield County Airport. The normal value of precipitation for that date at the airport is .02 inches. A three-month outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states Colorado has an equal chance for receiving precipitation below average or above average.

In the more immediate future, the National Weather service is predicting mostly clear conditions through the weekend, with the possibility of isolated thunderstorms in the afternoons and evenings.

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