Grand Mesa Mudslide Area Could Lead to More Danger
The recent mudslide in the Collbran area could produce more of a threat than originally thought. The slide created a "dam of rubblized, disturbed bedrock," that could lead to more mudslides.
There is a waterfall that is pouring into the top of the dam could result in the slide to moving yet again, bringing more water and mud into its path. This is according to Jon White, a geologist and hydrologist from the Colorado School of Mines who studied the mudslide.
The most concerning problem that has come about is the possibility for the crater behind the dam, created by the slide, to continue to fill and eventually break releasing even more water and mud which could follow a ravine leading into the town of Collbran.
According to Timothy Hayashi, a senior engineer from Mesa county, the pool that was created by the dam has turned into what seems to be a small lake, roughly 200 feet by 200 feet and 10 feet deep. This is concerning to scientists because of how rapidly the pool of water has increased in size.
Another matter in relation to the pool of water behind the dam involves three possible outcomes. These include the pool remaining similar in size causing more mud to rise on the side area, the pool overflowing to form a new channel down the side, or the mud and debris holding the water back could continue in stability, which would create a mock dam.
White claims that the possibility of the mud creating a mock dam is a scary idea because eventually that type of a dam would give way. Hydrologists are suggesting that if you live in the Collbran area, keep alert on the stability and potential involved with the mudslide.