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More major Colorado road closures expected over next 10 days as rains trigger flooding, mudslides

Drivers taking summer trips in the next 10 days should plan carefully and make sure their routes of choice are open as monsoonal weather patterns could wreak havoc on Colorado roadways, transportation officials said Wednesday.

Mudslides and flooding have closed major arteries this week from Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon to Colo. 14 in the Poudre Valley and Colo. 125 outside Granby — the result of heavy rain in burn scar areas from last summer’s record-breaking wildfires.

One woman was killed Tuesday and three others remain missing after flash flooding cascaded through the Poudre Canyon near Rustic.

Heavy rain is expected over the next seven to 10 days, and road closures are likely, the Colorado Department of Transportation said Wednesday in a news release.

“Slow-moving storms are anticipated, with the ability to drop a significant amount of precipitation,” CDOT said.

Forecasters are monitoring several burn scar areas, including Grizzly Creek, Cameron Peak and East Troublesome, which burned wide swaths of forest last summer near Granby, Grand Lake, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Glenwood Springs.

I-70 between West Rifle and Dotsero has been closed since Tuesday night due to flash flooding and five mudslides, CDOT officials said. Three slides occurred on the eastbound lanes, consisting of mostly water and soupy mud.

A fourth slide — consisting of more solid material — came down on westbound lanes near Exit 129 (Bair Ranch), with a fifth slide on the Bair Ranch exit off-ramp, authorities said.

“Landslides can travel several miles and create an avalanche of earth, mud and debris. These natural disasters are fast-moving and come with force,” Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said in the news release. “Advance preparation can make a big difference in your safety and survival. Pay attention to the weather forecast and stay alert by looking for the landslide signs like unusual sounds, including rocks knocking together, or trees cracking.”

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