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Glenwood Canyon Mudslides: CDOT Warns That More Heavy Rain Could Result In Further I-70 Closures

(CBS4) - Mudslides are causing problems in Glenwood Canyon in western Colorado. Those issues include recent closures of Interstate 70 and disruptions to the fresh water supply in Glenwood Springs.

Officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation warned on Tuesday that those issues could persist over the next couple of days.

Drivers should be prepared for more potential closures along Interstate 70 through the canyon if any more heavy rain hits that area.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the Grizzly Creek burn scar that is in effect until 9 p.m. on Tuesday. CDOT says it will close the canyon if the NWS upgrades that to a warning.

VIDEO: Rafters Witness Massive Mudslide Cascading Onto I-70 In Glenwood Canyon

CBS4 Meteorologist Chris Spears says the possibility of a flash flood is high this week, as a large plume of moisture moves into Colorado from the south. Light wind speeds over the state will mean that storms move slowly and will be capable of producing heavy rain.

If an I-70 closure lasts for more than an hour, CDOT will recommend drivers take the alternative route. That route is to the north of the canyon and adds approximately 2.5 hours to the drive in either direction. If such a recommendation is put into place, the following is the route to take:

WESTBOUND I-70: Motorists coming from the Denver metro area or Interstate 25 can travel westbound on I-70 to Silverthorne, then turn north onto CO 9. In Kremmling, travelers should turn onto westbound US Highway 40 towards Steamboat Springs. After reaching Craig, motorists can return south via CO 13 towards Rifle. Access to I-70 westbound is at Rifle.

EASTBOUND I-70: Motorists traveling eastbound from Utah or Grand Junction can reach the Denver Metro area by traveling the route above in reverse.

CDOT also warned drivers who might get stopped in a traffic jam due to a closure to stay in their vehicles. They wrote: "Never hang out in the grassy median located between lanes. If traffic is moving in the opposite direction, the median can be a hazardous area. Emergency response vehicles and heavy equipment may also need the median area to move about and access the emergency scene."

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