Area of Mesa County mudslide being remapped

June 2, 2014

Laser and radar technology is being used to remap the area of a massive mudslide in western Colorado, where three men are still missing.

Mesa County officials say two days of flights over a large area from Collbran to Vega Reservoir are underway. About 87 flights over the area will remap the topography of the slide and are aimed at getting a better sense of the new landscape.

The half-mile-wide by 3-mile-long slide, which was triggered May 25, is about 11 miles south of Collbran.

A memorial service in Collbran was held on Sunday for the three missing men — 51-year-old Clarence "Clancy" Allen Nichols, his 24-year-old son, Daniel Allen Nichols, and 46-year-old Wesley "Wes" Melvin Hawkins.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel says people from the Collbran area packed the Plateau Valley School gymnasium Sunday.

Authorities say they were swept away in a mudslide a half-mile wide and 3 miles long May 25, about 11 miles south of Collbran.

They had been checking on irrigation problems caused by an initial slide when a large chunk of a ridge broke off, sending soggy earth spilling like wet cement. Their bodies have not been found.