Grand County roads and passes closed following intense winter storms this week
January 12, 2017
It has been a crazy week for weather in the high country.
Grand County has been blanketed with some of the most intense snowstorms this region has seen in many years. Fierce weekend storms deposited several inches throughout Middle Park on Saturday and Sunday. They were followed by an unseasonably warm Monday that saw temperatures reaching into the low 40s and rain falling in the high country, turning the thick wet snow to slush.
Tuesday however brought more powder to the Rockies as snow slides and avalanche mitigation work closed mountain passes and highways throughout the state. Berthoud Pass was closed Tuesday morning Jan. 10 to conduct avalanche mitigation work. The Pass remained closed most of the day.
As snow continued to fall fast and heavy Tuesday winds also kicked up in the area, shutting down several lifts at Winter Park Resort and extending the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) efforts to reopen Berthoud Pass. Berthoud was eventually opened Tuesday evening.
Highway 40 wasn't the only road closure affecting Grand County this week.
Colorado Highway 125, leading north out of Grand County from the Windy Gap Wildlife Viewing Area and going north all the way to the Wyo. boarder, was closed Tuesday afternoon. The Highway remained closed through Thursday from the US Highway 40 and CO 125 junction to just north of Willow Creek Pass.
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Officials from CDOT did not respond to questions about when CO 125 will reopen.
Several residents of Grand County found themselves stranded in Walden this week after the road was closed. Jeremy Straley of Fraser waited in Walden for an entire day before he was escorted, along with approximately 50 other vehicles, along Colorado Highway 14 west of Walden to Muddy Pass, north of Kremmling. Straley said he finally made it home around 5 p.m. Wednesday night.
The snowstorms in Grand County were one part of a larger storm system that has hit the western US in recent days, dumping upwards of nine feet in the Sierras and closing down several ski resorts in Colorado because of too much snow. Wolf Creek Pass in southern Colorado was closed this week, as was Vail Pass along the I-70 corridor.
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