Three people are missing after a second mudslide hit Grand Mesa, Colorado on Sunday, and officials say the men were looking into an issue created by an earlier slide.
Colbran Marshall Adam Appelhanz said the there missing people were Wes Hawkins and Clancey Nichols and son Dan Nichols, reports The Denver Post. The older Nichols is an engineer and Dan is a firefighter.
Officials say that the mudslide is estimated to be about 250 feet deep and half-mile wide and nearly three miles long. Appelhanz described the area affected by the slide as looking like a “sea of mud and dirt.”
Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey said that the two Nichols and Hawkins were looking into a problem with ranch irrigation when the second mudslide hit, according to NBC News. “Everybody on this mountain is praying for a miracle right now — hoping they’re stranded and avoided it.”
The sparsely populated area was hit by heavy rains over a several day period, but buildings in the area appear to have escaped without damage, and the three men appear to be the only reported casualties.
Search efforts have been held up due to part of the affected area continuing to be unstable.