Mudslides force evacuation of Cottonwood Lake campground in Chaffee County

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CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — Campers had to evacuate the popular Cottonwood Lake campground in Chaffee County on Thursday night after several mudslides in the area.

Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said Cottonwood Lake on County Road 344 saw heavy thunderstorms about 4:30 p.m., which caused at least six mudslides.

Spezze said there were no injuries or damage to the campground, but campers were asked to leave for safety concerns. He said the campground entrance was open so campers would have no problem leaving.

The Red Cross set up an evacuation shelter at Buena Vista High School for campers, but the sheriff didn’t believe anyone would need it because they could safely leave the area on their own.

On Friday morning, several new mudslides were discovered and existing slides condintued to move downhill. The sheriff’s office said several loose rock slide areas continue to pose a danger to the public.

Campers who were evacuated Thursday night will be escorted into the area to retrieve their belongings from the campground.

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