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'My Car Went Black': Woman Caught In Mudslide On I-70 Describes Moment Debris Buried Her Car

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)- The Colorado Department of transpiration said it accounted for 108 individuals who were evacuated from Glenwood Canyon or moved to a safer location; one of them says she feels lucky to be alive.

GLENWOOD RESCUES mudslides (2)
(credit: CBS)

"My little work commuter car stalled out, and I was able to get it in low gear and kind of get it around some of the debris and about the time I reached down to kind of mess with my gears, my car went black... the windshield and all the windows and could kind of feel the thump of stuff, you know and tried to open up my door, and I could see all the debris coming in the car so I thought enough to grab my wallet and my phone and kind of stick 'em in my shirt and I kinda crawled out more or less," said Autumn Bair.

Autumn Bair was driving home from a late shift at the hospital in Glenwood Springs. She said it had barely begun raining and she felt safe to drive the 13 miles east, back to her home at Bair Ranch.

"As I kind of progressed through the canyon, it just got worse and worse and by the time I got to the east side of the Hanging Lake Tunnel, the rain was so hard that my windshield wipers couldn't keep up and I knew I was in trouble," she said.

She realized she was just a mile from home, and as the debris continued to overwhelm her vehicle, that's when she made the decision to crawl out and run.

GLENWOOD RESCUES mudslides cdot
(credit: CDOT)

"I only had me to worry about and I'm young and healthy and so you know, my shoes didn't stay on... I just kicked off my shoes and went for a little night jog and the lightening was enough and sparking light so much that I could kind of see the pools of mud and water and was able to kind of navigate the road based on that light and be able to get to the point where I could call my husband and get some help."

Her husband rushed to her aid and found his wife covered in mud but uninjured.

"Funny enough, about a year ago when the Grizzly Creek Fire first broke out, I picked up my wife running along the road she left that little car over on Cottonwood Pass on a dirt road- she was running home through the back way into our ranch on a dirt road and I picked her up there in a pickup. So, I've picked her up twice now: once in fire once in flood and I don't know, it's really something," he said.

Despite the fires and floods, both wouldn't trade Glenwood for anything.

"We're here and we hope to be able to stay. Glenwood Springs is here, and we don't want folks to be so afraid to come to the Western Slope and to come out and use the canyon. It's beautiful here, it's wonderful. These are just a couple little bumps in the road for us but we're here," said Jim Bair.

(credit: CBS)

The Bairs praised CDOT and emergency responders for all their work.

"That's their priority, it's public safety and it is inconvenient, the detour is extreme, it's several hours to go around and for us it's really difficult because we're out here on an island and we can't go anywhere, on the other hand, when you experience being in the slide…" said Jim as Autumn jumped in, "It's worth it, to not be in on that. It's pretty terrifying."

The Bairs hope drivers aren't discouraged by the detour and continue to make the trek to Glenwood Springs to support businesses.

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