GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Transportation is bracing for the possibility of another closure along Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon on Wednesday afternoon. There is an increased flood potential in the Grizzly Creek Fire burn area.

(credit: CDOT)

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Widespread thunderstorms will return to western Colorado with the possibility of heavy rainfall, hail and gusty winds. The National Weather Service is issuing a Flash Flood Watch at noon Wednesday in the burn scar area.

According to the NWS, the public should anticipate the chance for a Flash Flood Watch to quickly turn into a Flash Flood Warning. If that happens, maintenance crews will close I-70.

Crews will be stationed at mile marker 133, Dotsero and mile marker 116, Glenwood Springs that will allow for the quick closure of the interstate.

According to CDOT, “The Colorado State Patrol will sweep the area to ensure there are no motorists or members of the public in the area. Crews will continue to monitor the mudslide area. Motorists should be prepared for an extended closure should there be another mudslide or slide materials blocking the roadway that will need to be cleared before reopening. Safety is CDOT’s and CSP’s number one priority and the agencies will not reopen the interstate until it is safe to do so.”

If I-70 does close, the detour will be the same as when the canyon originally closed last month:

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WESTBOUND I-70: Motorists coming from the Denver metro area or Interstate 25 can travel westbound on I-70 to Silverthorne, then turn north onto Highway 9. In Kremmling, travelers should turn onto westbound Highway 40 towards Steamboat Springs. After reaching Craig, motorists can return south via Highway 13 towards Rifle. Access to I-70 westbound is at Rifle.

Glenwood Canyon I-70 Closure Detour

(credit: CBS)

EASTBOUND I-70: Motorists traveling eastbound from Utah or Grand Junction can reach the Denver metro area by traveling north from Rifle on Highway 13 to Craig. From there, head east on Highway 40 through Steamboat Springs. Either take Highway 131 south to Wolcott and onto I-70 from there or continue on Highway 40 through to Kremmling and head south on Highway 9, then join up with eastbound I-70 again at Silverthorne.

Crews continue to clear debris on the east end of the canyon on westbound I-70 at Ty Gulch. The 46-mile stretch of I-70 partially reopened on Saturday after it had been closed for more than two weeks due to devastating mudslides. They also build some stairsteps to slow the flow in the ara.

The west end finished cleaning between mile marker 119 and mile marker 121 on eastbound I-70 behind the wall and hauled out 60 loads. Crews then moved to start cleaning the French Creek drainage.

On Wednesday, crews will concentrate on getting equipment cleaned and staged for the possibility of flash flooding.

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CDOT recommends that drivers check COtrip.org for any road closures before heading out.

Jennifer McRae