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Mudslides near burn area close portion of I-70 in Colorado

June 28, 2021 GMT
Colorado Department of Transportation crews make progress cleaning up the lower eastbound decks of Interstate 70 on Monday near MM120 after a mudslide swept down the cliffs in Glenwood Canyon in the area of the Grizzly Creek burn scar on Sunday, June 27, 2021 near Glenwood Springs, Colo. (Chelsea Self/Glenwood Springs Post Independent via AP)
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Colorado Department of Transportation crews make progress cleaning up the lower eastbound decks of Interstate 70 on Monday near MM120 after a mudslide swept down the cliffs in Glenwood Canyon in the area of the Grizzly Creek burn scar on Sunday, June 27, 2021 near Glenwood Springs, Colo. (Chelsea Self/Glenwood Springs Post Independent via AP)
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Colorado Department of Transportation crews make progress cleaning up the lower eastbound decks of Interstate 70 on Monday near MM120 after a mudslide swept down the cliffs in Glenwood Canyon in the area of the Grizzly Creek burn scar on Sunday, June 27, 2021 near Glenwood Springs, Colo. (Chelsea Self/Glenwood Springs Post Independent via AP)

A portion of Interstate 70 in western Colorado was closed Monday following a series of mudslides triggered by rainfall over the weekend near where a wildfire burned last year.

While eastbound lanes of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon were expected to open later in the day thanks to clean up work overnight, there is no estimate for when westbound lanes of the highway will reopen, the Colorado Department of Transportation said.

The largest of the mudslides that happened on Sunday along Colorado’s main east-west highway flowed down the same drainage as the one that happened Saturday along the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar, the Glenwood Post Independent reported. The fire, which started in August, burned about 51 square miles (132 square kilometers).

Sunday’s main mudslide reached 80 feet (24 meters) wide and 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep in areas.

On Saturday, the mud spread 70 feet (21 meters) wide and was 5 feet deep in places. Saturday’s highway closure lasted several hours.

Travelers may have to expect on-and-off closures of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon when rainfall is expected in the area this summer, said Kane Schneider, a CDOT transportation maintenance employee.