Multiple People Trapped in Vehicles on Colorado Highway After Mudslides

Mudslides in Colorado have trapped multiple people in their cars on a highway since Thursday night.

"Multiple large mudslides" through Glenwood Canyon overnight on Interstate 70 had stopped cars and a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) spokesperson told Denver7 that they are working to safely evacuate people in the canyon and are working with local agencies.

A flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek burn scar area went into effect Thursday night, followed by a safety closure of the road.

🚫#I70 Glenwood Canyon CLOSED due to a Flash Flood Warning for the Grizzly Creek burn scar area. Updates will continue to be posted to and available by dialing 511.** Closure points are Exit 133, Exit 116, Exit 109 and Exit 87 (West Rifle).

— Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) (@ColoradoDOT) July 29, 2021

"A few vehicles and their passengers were able to shelter in place within the [Hanging Lake] Tunnel," the Garfield County Sheriff's Office told Newsweek in a news release.

"The Garfield County Sheriff's Office along with Glenwood Fire and a bus from RFTA headed into the Canyon to reach the twenty plus individuals that were in the Tunnel. They followed CDOT crews as they made a path through two debris flow areas to reach the tunnel.

"Early this morning the bus reached the tunnel and took people back to Glenwood. Several motorists drove their own vehicles out, following the bus to safety and shelter at the Rec. Center.

The Sheriff's Office added: "There are still multiple vehicles caught in the canyon. CDOT will be busy rescuing these vehicles and their occupants while cleaning up the debris flows."

As of Friday morning, the road was still closed, according to CDOT.

⚠️ UPDATE: The #I70 SAFETY CLOSURE in Glenwood Canyon is still in place due to mudslides. Motorists should avoid the area, plan for an extended closure and use the recommended northern alternate route.

— Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) (@ColoradoDOT) July 30, 2021

The same area, Glenwood Canyon, had a road closure due to flash flood warnings earlier this month.

CDOT, in an earlier announcement for flash flood warnings, stated some things motorists on the road should and should not do in case of events.

"If you are stuck in a closure waiting for a road to be cleared of mud or rocks, do not leave your car unless absolutely necessary," it said. "Never hang out in the grassy median located between lanes."

CDOT advised drivers to always keep an emergency kit in their car, stocked with "at the very minimum: water, snacks, flashlight, and a blanket."

In flood-like scenarios, which appear to be somewhat common in Glenwood Canyon, CDOT said, "Never drive through any flooded area, you do not know how deep or how fast the water is running."

"Water and mud can contain unknown hazards hidden under the surface, rocks or other debris, like plant material and tree branches," it added. "Any amount of flooding or mud can obstruct the roadway and hinder drivers from knowing exactly where to drive."

A mudslide caused several cars to shelter in place on Interstate 70 in Colorado on Thursday night, forcing evacuation procedures to get them off the roads to begin Friday morning. Above, the mountains near the Eisenhower Tunnel above I-70 are covered in snow as seen in Georgetown, Colorado, in 2009. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)