Search effort for three men missing after Colorado mudslide halted

By Kyle Johnson,

The search for three men who went missing on Sunday after a second mudslide in western Colorado has been called off as the area continues to be unstable, leaving officials worried about the possibility of another slide.

Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey said officials "are not comfortable with others on the slide currently," reports KWGN. They noticed a buildup of water that is on the top of the ridge tht could potentially created a third mudslide.

They are also investigating whether another slide could reach nearby homes in the area, but haven't made a decision just yet on whether to order an evacuation. "The big threat is what happen if we get another slide. We don't know right now," Hilkey said.

Jonathan White, a geologist from the Colorado School of Mines, says there are three scenarios that could happen as a result of this water. One is that the water stays on top of the ridge for years, while the other two are variants on the water creating a third slide.

As previously reported, Clancey Nichols and his son Dan, along with Wes Hawkins went missing after heading out to investigate an irrigation problem. While out there, a 250 foot deep slide that is half-mile wide and over two miles long hit the area.

Hilkey previously said, "Everybody on this mountain is praying for a miracle right now -- they're hoping they're stranded and avoided it."

According to The Associated Press, the search for the three men would, at the earliest, likely have to wait until summer.



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