Three Remain Missing After Colorado Mudslide

By Mark Leberfinger, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
May 28, 2014; 1:50 AM
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Rescue workers take a break from searching through mud for missing persons December 26, 2003 in Devore, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The search for three missing people persists Tuesday, after a mudslide transpired in Mesa County, Colorado on Sunday evening, May 25, 2014.

The mudslide was first reported about 6:15 p.m. MDT Sunday, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

(Photo/Pablo Spencer)

Rain likely contributed to the cause of the slide, the sheriff's office said.

The slide occurred after a thunderstorm went through the area, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Lada said. At least 0.35 inches fell in Rifle, Colorado, which is to the north of Collbran.

It had rained most of Sunday in the area, according to MesoWest observations.

Plateau Valley Fire Department first responded to the area of Vega Reservoir on the Grand Mesa, east of Collbran. The mudslide is estimated to be about four miles long, two miles wide and about 250 feet deep in many places.

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It was described as very unstable by deputies on scene, who they estimate an entire ridge has been sliding for most of today. A witness who called into Grand Junction, Colorado, dispatch, described hearing a noise that sounded much like a freight train that is attributed to the slide, the sheriff's office said.

"This slide is unbelievably big," Mesa County Sheriff's Lt. Phil Stratton said,

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