3 missing in huge mudslide near Collbran on Western Slope

Slide 'Unbelievably big'

COLLBRAN, Colo. - A huge mudslide in a rural area of the Western Slope may have trapped three people.

A unified incident command has been established between Plateau Valley Fire Department and the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, to handle the large mudslide and search for the people possibly caught in the slide.

The first reports of the mudslide came into the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center about 6:15 p.m., along with reports of 3 local Collbran/Mesa area residents missing.

"This slide is unbelievably big," Lt. Phil Stratton, Mesa County Sheriff's Office, said

Plateau Valley Fire Department first responded to the area of Salt Creek Road, in the area of Vega Reservoir, on the Grand Mesa. This area is east of the small town of Collbran, located in Mesa County. Deputies responded immediately, along with Mesa County Search and Rescue Control, Inc., and the Collbran Marshal.

Citizens are highly discouraged from going into the area and a road block has been established outside the mudslide perimeter, for safety.

The mudslide is estimated to be about 4 miles long, 2 miles wide and about 250 feet deep, in many places. It was described as very unstable by deputies on the scene Sunday night, and they estimated an entire ridge has been sliding for most of Sunday.

A witness who called into dispatch Sunday evening, described hearing a noise that sounded much like a freight train that is attributed to the slide..

Weather, including rain, has fallen in Mesa County most of the day and likely contributed to the cause of the slide.

Because cell phone service does not work in the area of incident command, updates aren't expected overnight.


View Larger Map

Print this article Back to Top