Rockslide, snow are hurdles for holiday drivers

Posted at 10:01 AM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 13:47:46-05

High wind and snow made road conditions dicey on Presidents Day, as many people travel back and forth from the mountains for the holiday.

The north-central mountains are under a winter weather advisory Monday, with snow and blowing snow making travel hazardous. The National Weather Service says the advisory extends from Aspen and Fairplay on the south to the Wyoming border. It's in effect till midnight.

East of the Continental Divide, the northern Front Range is under a high wind watch with 75 mph gusts possible. The watch extends from Douglas County north to the Wyoming border. Sustained winds of 20 to 40 mph are possible through Monday night.

Meteorologist Lisa Hidalgo said some areas could get wind gusts up to 75 mph.

Check the latest full forecast

In addition to snow, ice and wind, drivers had to worry about falling rocks along I-70 Monday. Around 3 a.m., Colorado Department of Transportation tweeted that crews closed I-70 in both directions in Glenwood Canyon near Hanging Lake Tunnel.

Rocks fell from the mountains and blocked the eastbound lanes. Crews worked in the westbound lanes to clear the mess. Debris was cleared a couple of hours later but the large rocks are still on the side of the road.

Denver7's Lance Hernandez saw the result of the rock slide while he was en route to Grand Junction for Deputy Derek Geer's funeral.

CDOT maintenance crews will use the "boulder buster" in order to remove them. The GeoHazards team has been mobilized to evaluate the slope.

On CDOT's website, the department lists snow, poor visibility and ice as factors in travel in the high country. CDOT shut down the eastbound lanes on Sunday evening because of conditions and spinoffs. Drivers are advised to budget extra time and drive cautiously.