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Crews searching for 3 people in Colorado mudslide

Three Missing After Colorado Mudslide

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - Rescue teams are searching for three people reported missing after a large mudslide struck in western Colorado's Mesa County.

The slide hit Sunday in a remote area near the town of Collbran, about 40 miles east of Grand Junction.

Rescuers raced to the scene when it was reported around 6 p.m. MDT, but eased operations after nightfall, Mesa County Sheriff's spokeswoman Lisa McCammon said.

There's "not a lot of activity tonight," she said. The "slide area is very unstable." She said a daylight search was safer.

The department estimated the slide is about 4 miles long, 2 miles wide and about 250 feet deep in many places.

"This slide is unbelievably big," Mesa County Lt. Phil Stratton said.

The department said crews were searching for three residents of the Collbran area after they were reported missing in the slide area, situated near Salt Creek road and Vega Reservoir.

The site is in a rural part of the county and there were no reports of any structures damaged or major roads affected, McCammon said.

The sheriff's office said that the person who reported the slide at about 6:15 p.m. "described hearing a noise that sounded much like a freight train."

A unified incident command has been established between Plateau Valley Fire Department and the Mesa sheriff, to handle the slide and search for the people possibly caught in it.

Authorities say the heavy rains that fell over the weekend contributed to the slide.

The avalanche occurred about two months after a massive mudslide hit the Washington state community of Oso on March 22, killing 43 people.

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charpist5 May 26 2014 at 11:37 AM

The avalanche occurred about two months after a massive mudslide hit the Washington state community of Oso on March 22....

(I thought it was a mudslide, not an avalanche)

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welcome Richard May 26 2014 at 12:38 PM

Pictures would be nice. Lets hope the three who are missing, just got their truck stuck

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rockymtnhikerCo May 26 2014 at 1:35 PM

this is partly what happens when some forests are clear cut,instead of healthy thinning which is desirable to reduce the chance of wildfires,and keep topsoil intact when healthy trees are allowed to continue growing.

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3 replies
tbplayer44 May 26 2014 at 8:17 PM

If they weren't stoned, they may have been able to do something other than point at the mud as it was sliding towards them and say "Dude!"

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munjibunga May 27 2014 at 12:54 AM

Something four miles long, two miles wide and 250 feet thick is not a mudslide. It's a landslide.

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1 reply
paxrail munjibunga May 27 2014 at 1:51 AM

A runout slide at that.

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kweavers May 27 2014 at 9:44 AM

People should not comment on things they know nothing about.
My family owned the ranch across the street from this landslide and the land is in its natural state and very wooded and was an area I have hiked in and would not expect this to happen. We know one of the missing which was a neighbor and pray that they are found safe.

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randallalbin May 27 2014 at 3:30 PM

this is such a wonderful, scenic state. too bad that acts of nature do occur. wish them well and stay safe and sane

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