Man recounts experience being trapped in tunnel on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon

Over a hundred motorists were stranded, according to CDOT
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 9:02 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Mudslides along I-70 in Glenwood Canyon left motorists stranded Thursday night. These mudslides have become more frequent as rains have made their way into the Grizzly Creek burn scar area.

A visitor from Wisconsin was one of those who got caught in a flash flood while on the interstate. Arian Keller was one of over a hundred motorists who had an unexpected stay in Glenwood Canyon Thursday night. He described how events unfolded as the mudslides came coming down. “We saw the rain coming in and we didn’t think it was going to be that heavy, and we got the flash flood warning but we were already on our way up the mountain and there was no real way back. A lot of the exits were closed, so we couldn’t really get a way off, so we kept going straight.”

Though the night’s events caused an emergency and had the potential for serious consequences, CDOT is reporting that everyone affected made their way to safety.

According to CDOT, “We are very grateful that CDOT has now accounted for 108 individuals who now have either been evacuated from the canyon or moved to a safe place. Safety is the first and highest priority and making sure that we do everything that we can to protect the safety of the traveling public is critical.”

The American Red Cross was on hand to provide relief for those impacted by the mudslide. Some motorists like Keller had to leave their cars behind once evacuated. While stuck inside the tunnel, Keller said that those stranded made did what they could to just get some sleep. “Everyone was just sleeping in all sorts of ways. Some people were there from camping trips so there was tents set up. It was an interesting thing to be a part of.”

According to CDOT, motorists should expect the I-70 closure through Glenwood Canyon to continue through the weekend. More rain is expected in the forecast.

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