Montezuma residents may be stuck after road washes out
Ryan Summerlin June 3, 2014
To learn more about high water and how to prepare for spring runoff, you can download the county’s High Water Preparedness Information brochure at co.summit.co.us.
Residents of Montezuma were evacuated Tuesday, June 3, after parts of the only road into town flooded.
According to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, high water levels on the Snake River and Peru Creek caused a half mile of serious damage on Montezuma Road. By early Tuesday afternoon, county officials closed the road about 1.5 miles west of the Peru Creek Trailhead where part of the road 45 feet long and 15 feet deep washed out.
About 10 to 12 residents evacuated from the town, and about 20 people chose to stay in Montezuma.
Lesley Davis, the town’s mayor, said she was part of a group of residents that officials helped evacuate late Tuesday afternoon. They rode in a large van right behind a road grader that pushed running water, standing water, rocks, boulders, mud and dirt out of the way.
“It was pretty intense,” she said. “It was pretty crazy.”
In her 13 years living in Montezuma, Davis said she had never seen anything like it.
The county road and bridge department will bring back a temporary bridge Wednesday from Jackson County to help restore vehicle access to the road. Other department employees are onsite working on other solutions if the bridge doesn’t work.
For now, the only access to and from the town of Montezuma is by foot on a hike that takes about 30 minutes.
The town still has power and limited Internet access but no phone service. Xcel Energy is onsite monitoring the situation.
Davis, who acted as a liaison between first responders, county officials and residents, said people who stayed behind said they had supplies and were ready to hunker down for a few days.
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