Avalanche concerns grow as more snow is expected

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There are growing avalanche concerns in the mountains as another round of storms are expected to move in, bringing yet more snow.

Taking advantage of clear weather, a CDOT helicopter dropped explosive charges into three spots along I-70 between Frisco and Copper Mountain on Sunday.

CDOT said they were attempting mitigation efforts before another blast of snow moves in.

That’s why concern is growing with Colorado avalanches now being called extremely dangerous, unprecedented and unpredictable.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center Director Ethan Greene said, “In certain places we’ve seen avalanches release in areas where there are not traditional avalanche paths. This is where they have not released in the past at all.”

CDOT said Sunday some of the avalanches are estimated to have moved between 80 and 110 miles per hour.

Another took out more than 1,000 trees, some of them believed to be more than 350 years old.

Ethan Greene said, “We knew there were avalanche cycles on the horizon but we did not anticipate the size and magnitude of these avalanches.”

Crews have also been using Military Grade Howitzer cannons and small launchers to send ordinances into snow packed areas. CDOT is warning drivers to take extra precautions.

CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said, “Over the past week we’ve seen over a dozen avalanches impacting our highways burying numerous cars and closing roadways for hours at a time.”

Some those road ways are next to towering banks of snow and are expected to grow in the days to come.

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