Three men have been reported missing after going to check on a massive mudslide in Mesa County, Colorado, Sunday night that was estimated to be about four miles long, two miles wide and as much as 250 feet deep in some areas, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.
“The slide is unbelievable big,” said Lt. Phil Stratton, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
The first reports of the mudslide came into the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center at about 6:15 p.m. Sunday, as did reports of three local men missing in connection with the slide. A witness who reported the incident described a noise that sounded like a freight train.
The missing men have been identified as Clancy Nichols, 51; his son, Danny Nichols, 24; and Wes Hawkins, 46. The men went to check a disruption in their irrigation water and then went to check on the slide, according to Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey. Hilkey said they believe a second slide occurred while the men were in the area and that the men may have been caught in that slide.
The area is described as remote, with no reliable cellphone service, although the missing men are not thought to have cellphones with them. No structures were reported damaged and no major roads were impacted by the slide.
About 40 to 50 emergency and search and rescue personnel are looking for the missing men. The communication center reports that the slide remains unstable, that it moved an additional 20 feet overnight and that several natural gas wells in the area were shut down as a precaution.