Grand Mesa avalanche concern to close Colorado Highway 65

Heavy snowfall on Grand Mesa will force the closure of Colorado Highway 65 tonight as state highway crews try to relieve growing avalanche worry.

Highway 65 will close in both directions around 7 p.m., at milepost 34, which is roughly a mile south of Mesa Lakes Lodge, according to Nancy Shanks, spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Crews will be firing various explosives into the mountainside toward triggering small, controlled avalanches, Shanks said. As of 2:40 p.m., the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said Grand Mesa had “considerable” avalanche danger with more snow on the way. Powerhorn Mountain Resort this afternoon was reporting four fresh inches of snow since 5 a.m. today and roughly 14 to 16 inches over the past 24 hours.

The road closure will mean the ski resort will only be accessible from the north end of Highway 65.

The avalanche mitigation work is anticipated to wrap up by noon Friday, although Shanks said there wasn’t a clear timeframe for completion.


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