GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Mother Nature continues to make a mess in Glenwood Canyon following days of rain and flooding. The Colorado Department of Transportation is still cleaning up Thursday’s mess that left over 100 people trapped in the area.
“CDOT is mainly working on the slides. I think they took out 135 loads of rocks and mud yesterday,” Chris Anderson, general manager of West Vail Shell Towing said.
Anderson said he, along with another local mountain tow company, was called in to help get the few remaining vehicles out of the slide area along with a double FedEx semitruck.
“I knew what I was getting myself into. I have been in slides before, nothing to that extent though,” Anderson said.
He said since being a tow agency in a mountain area they are prepared for anything from snow to mud. But he said he couldn’t believe how big the impact was driving up to these slides.
“There were multiple slides of a huge magnitude. Some were 7 or 8 feet of rock dumped over the retaining wall. Some of it flooded an entire half mile,” Anderson said.
On Saturday, Anderson and the other tow truck operators worked for several hours to get the cars and semi out. He said the most difficult part was just getting to the stranded cars. He said CDOT worked on digging out the area for several hours before, but they had to follow CDOT crews through rocks, debris and several feet of water.
“There were trees, rocks and boulders. You didn’t know what you were driving through. It was 2 to 3 feet of water and CDOT had it much rougher the night that it happened,” Anderson said.
His team at West Vail Shell towing is expected to be on standby if more of their help is needed in the area.
Anderson said after seeing the mess first hand from the mudslides, he tips his hat to the CDOT workers.