Tuesday, June 14, 2016

UPDATE: Landslide Response downgraded to Level I

PLATEAU VALLEY, Colo -Recent warm temperatures and lower creek levels have prompted Mesa County to lower the Response Level from Two to One.

The amount of snow left above the West Salt Creek Landslide is no longer at a level where experts feel it necessary for residents to remain on heighten alert.

Plateau Creek is through peak runoff and the level is forecast to continue to drop. It has reached a point experts feel would be able to better absorb a surge of water should one come from the landslide area like it did on May 27, 2016, thus minimizing the impact to surrounding communities.

As of Tuesday, June 14, 2016, GPS monitoring continues to show no movement of the landmass.   

This does NOT mean that the area is safe for people to venture out there and explore. We are encouraging everyone to continue to STAY OUT of the immediate area.

The Landslide itself is on private property and property owned by U.S. Forest Service. It is closed to public because of the DANGER it poses. Trespassing on private property is prohibited.

Salt Creek Road, still remains closed to the public. It is open to local traffic only.

What this means for residents: At Level Two, we asked residents to PREPARE to evacuate should the need arise. At Level One that is no longer necessary. 

Mesa County and all of it's partner agencies will however, continue to stay vigilant and actively monitor conditions.

If conditions change, we will let residents know and upgrade the Response Level accordingly.  

RESPONSE LEVEL I definition: Level I is the least serious level. This level is to direct organizations that have a role in managing incidents related to the landslide to “Get Ready”. At this level technical experts and response organizations will increase vigilance and begin preparing for an emergency response. This response level will not likely be visible to residents.

RESPONSE LEVEL II definition: Level II is more serious than Level I but not as serious as Level III. Level II signifies that water-related and/or landslide events have occurred that may become life threatening. At this level, response organizations will “Get Set” to respond and residents should prepare or “Get Set” to leave. At this response level, residents should expect:
  • Prepositioning of emergency response equipment
  • Notification via reverse 911 directing you to STAND BY AND PREPARE TO LEAVE.
  • Flash Flood Watch issued by the National Weather Service 
  • News Coverage of emergency conditions 
  • Resources (i.e. sandbags) available to community 
RESPONSE LEVEL III definition: Level III indicates that an extremely serious situation exists. Major life-threatening releases from the lake formed by the landslide are occurring and/or the physical condition of the landslide deposit has deteriorated to such a point that failure is likely or occurring. At this level, - 2 - response agencies will be responding (“GO!!). At this response level, residents should expect:
  • Direction to evacuate and move to higher ground 
  • Flash Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service 
  • Notification to evacuate via reverse 911
  • Activation of NOAA weather radios 
  • Television and radio override with Flash Flood Warning