Landslide continues to be monitored

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

COLLBRAN, Colo. It's been six weeks since the landslide swept through a valley near Collbran, but it's still under watch for any continuous threats.

"It is settling slowly," said Pete Baier, deputy administrator of operations and public works for Mesa County. "We have seen the water level kind of level off. It is no longer increasing, which is good for us. The snow level has quit."

Mesa County has crews monitoring the area at West Salt Creek every day.

There are also nine instruments keeping tabs of the landslide at all hours of the day including water monitoring systems, GPS surveying equipment and cameras that can notify crews if there are any potential problems.

"We want to understand the forces that are up there. That's why we're doing this," Baier said. "We still are calling this a hazardous area and the public is still not allowed. We still do see rocks rolling off the edges and as you can imagine the mountain is effectively healing itself."

While the landslide has stabilized for now, the time period with the biggest risk for another natural disaster will be next spring when snow runoff and rain bring liquid back to the landslide area.

The slide is now being referred to as a landslide rather than a mudslide because the composition of the material is solid, not liquid mud.


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