3 missing after mudslide
Rescue teams failed to find any sign Monday of three men missing after a ridge saturated with rain collapsed, sending mud sliding for 3 miles (5 kilometres) in a remote part of western Colorado.
Clancy Nichols, 51, a county road and bridge employee, his son Danny, 24, and Wes Hawkins, 46, have been missing since Sunday after the ridge collapsed. They went to check on damage from an initial slide near the edge of Grand Mesa, one of the world's largest flat-topped mountains, after a rancher reported that his irrigation ditch had stopped flowing, Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey said.
The search near the small town of Collbran has been hampered because only the lower third of the slide is stable. Even at the edges, the mud is 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 metres) deep. It's believed to be several hundred feet deep and about a half mile (800 metres) wide.
"Everyone on this mountain is praying for a miracle right now," Hilkey said.
Deputies estimate that the entire ridge had been moving for most of Sunday before someone called to report the slide at 6:15 p.m., describing it as sounding like a freight train. Hilkey believes runoff from Grand Mesa from recent rain triggered the slide. A hydrologist from the Natural Weather Service and a geologist from the U.S. Geological Survey were helping authorities assess the situation.
Hawkins' cousin, Bill Clark, said he went along with Clancy and Danny Nichols to check on why an irrigation ditch had stopped flowing because he works for an area water district. He said he has a family and young children.
Clark, who visited the canyon where the slide struck, said it was completely filled with mud. He said the slide struck with so much force that some also spilled over into the neighbouring draw.
"I've never seen so much earth move like that in my life," he said.
Comments on this story are pre-moderated and approval times may vary. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators to ensure they meet our submission guidelines. Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then. Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Castanet, but only of the comment writer.
Read more World News
- Election foul: Signs removedMunicipal Elections 2014 - 4:36 pm
- KGH ready for EbolaKelowna - 1:27 pm
- Racism in SummerlandPenticton / S. Okanagan - 11:30 am
- Cops cleared of excessive forceBC - 2:57 pm
World Health Organization
World Trade Organization