Thursday, June 12, 2014

West Salt Creek Landslide Update

Update - Activities as of June 9, 2014

MESA COUNTY, COLO Jun. 12, 2014- Below is a summary of the monitoring and operation activities occurring from Friday, June 6, 2014 through Monday, June 9, 2014. 

Command: Official oversight and command of the West Salt Creek landslide transitioned to Operational Command by Mesa County Public Works. Peter Baier, Mesa County’s Deputy Administrator for Operations takes lead on Friday, June 6, 2014. Mesa County Sheriffs’ Office, Mesa County Office of Emergency Management and State of Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, remain involved. 

Involved entities: Experts from the Colorado Division of Water Resources (CDWR), United States Forest Service (USFS), and United States Geological Survey (USGS) remain in the area. 

Operational status: The landslide area remains critical while snow melt continues (estimated through early July). Field work will likely continue through June 20, 2014 with sawyers (cutting fallen logs to improve ATV access for field crews) and other technical experts continuing to place and mark monitoring locations around the slide and pond areas. Additional UAV flights may be performed to continue compilation of a base survey. Advisory group of local interests impacted by the slide met June 9 and plan to continue to meet regularly, to address concerns related to irrigation, fences, access and reseeding of private property.

Monitoring devices: The last of seven monitoring devices was placed on Monday, June 9. The last device is a pressure transducer to monitor the level of the small pond at the top of the slide area.

Devices in place to monitor the area are: two cameras, two GPS, stream gauge, pressure transducer, and two rain gauges, with visual monitoring by crews in the area.

Data processing and expert review:
  • “Sag Pond”- As discussed at the Town Hall meeting on June 5, CDWR estimates that the pond at the top of the slide area is approximately 6 acre feet. CDWR continues to analyze this area. To view photo and presentation on this topic, please refer to info post #MCmudslide Update/Info from Town Hall Meeting – June 5, 2014 #MesaCounty
  • Topographic data - LiDAR data gathered from aerial flights June 1 – June 3, 2014 is in processing. Processing of this data is estimated to require 10 days from last flight, and then the digital data will be processed by Mesa County GIS for building elevation models. Current estimate for this is June 24, 2014.
Local information: The landslide area is six (6) miles from the Town of Collbran. While the slide area remains dangerous and should be avoided by those not working within the operation, the Town of Collbran is not impacted by any road closure. 

Information: Effective June 10, 2014 first point of communication will be Mesa County Administration, Victoria Patsantaras, lead public information officer, and Administration staff. Please email or call 970-244-1885. Media updates will be provided weekly, or as may be required by conditions. Please see Mesa County’s news blog and Mesa County government Facebook and twitter pages for updates. Additionally, information links relating to the landslide may be found at

Next media update is scheduled for release Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

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