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Polis preparing state disaster declaration in Glenwood Canyon following I-70 mudslides

While other mudslides have periodically affected other roads and parts of the state, the I-70 closure has been by far the most persistent and impactful.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday that he's preparing to issue a state disaster declaration for Glenwood Canyon, following repeated mudslides across Interstate 70 this summer. 

Polis announced the plans for the declaration on Facebook and in a news conference on Monday afternoon. 

"We are getting ready to issue the state disaster declaration and the preparing the request for a federal declaration under the Stafford Act," Governor Polis posted on his Facebook page on Monday afternoon.

If approved by President Joe Biden, the federal declaration will allow Colorado to request federal relief funds under the Stafford Act.

I-70 has closed at least 10 times this summer due to mudslides from the nearby Grizzly Creek wildfire burn scar, forcing an excruciatingly three-plus hour detour through Steamboat Springs. While other mudslides have periodically affected other roads and parts of the state, the I-70 closure has been by far the most persistent and impactful one, strangling cross-state traffic.

These photos show the extreme damage from the mudslides. We are getting ready to issue the state disaster declaration...

Posted by Governor Jared Polis on Monday, August 2, 2021

In addition, a weekend mudslide forced an indefinite closure of I-70 due to what the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) described as "extreme damage" from a series of weekend mudslides.

CDOT has also been automatically closing I-70 in the flood-prone stretch of highway anytime a Flash Flood Warning is issued by the National Weather Service.

Monsoon rains mean it's unlikely the mudslides will stop anytime soon. 

Polis had planned to tour the mudslide damage on Monday, but due to more storms in the area he postponed his visit.  

RELATED: With I-70 in Glenwood Canyon closed, towns see lots of detour traffic

RELATED: I-70 through Glenwood Canyon closed indefinitely after 'extreme damage' from heavy rain and flooding

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