MONTEZUMA, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado town is still cut off after flood waters destroyed the only road in and out.
About half the people in Montezuma decided to stay behind, and while work is underway to restore access, it might take until Thursday.
Montezuma is located in Summit County not far from Breckenridge and Keystone.
As the flood waters farther up the Snake River were destroying Montezuma Road, Summit County officials decided to take out the land above a clogged culvert. Now they’re still trying to figure out how to get access back to Montezuma.
A backhoe tore up the asphalt Tuesday night and it was only a matter of minutes before waters eroded the rest of the land. Residents came out to see they’re now stranded.
“This was full of river yesterday, this was just straight water rushing … I couldn’t even tell there was a road under it yesterday,” Montezuma Mayor Lesley Davis told CBS4’s Jeff Todd on Wednesday. “I know it’s been eroding with the river … I think we’ve lost about 30 feet altogether on each side.”
Crews are clearing an old logging road to install a temporary bridge about 500 feet upstream.
“This was an old logging road up to Montezuma and the plan is to put a temporary bridge and footbridge in up this road, which will give the county the whole summer to repair the big washout,” Deputy Chief Jeff Berino with the Lake Dillon Fire Department said.
By moving the access bridge upstream it allows crews time and space to rebuild what was destroyed.
The area is very popular for all types of recreation in the summertime, but exactly what access in and out of Montezuma will look like this summer is still a question.
“I think it is going to be limited access for a while. It’s looking like residents only, local traffic only. They said our road may be dirt for months,” Davis said.
There’s a good half mile of Montezuma Road that will need to be repaired before any kind of vehicle access will be granted to the public.
The Snake River has returned to its normal color.
“At least the river is on its path now and we have a road that we can repair, but the road is pretty messed up too,” Davis said.
About 20 people elected to stay, cut off from civilization. That’s about half the town. The mayor said everyone is doing fine.