Search to resume for three missing men after massive mudslide

Aerial view of the massive mudslide near Collbran, Colo., on Monday, May 26, 2014.

Aerial view of the massive mudslide near Collbran, Colo., on Monday, May 26, 2014.

COLLBRAN, Colo. — Rescue crews in Mesa County will resume the search Tuesday morning for three men missing in a massive mudslide.

A family member heard about the massive mudslide Monday morning and called his Uncle Clearance Nicols.

“It’s a close family,” said KWGN photojournalist Cody White, whose family lives in Collbran. “It’s been pretty tough.”

Nicols and his son Danny are two of the three men missing since Sunday night. Wes Hawkins is the third.

Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey says the three men went to check out a small mudslide Sunday morning that was affecting water in the area. But while they were there, a bigger one hit Sunday night.

“The power behind it was remarkable,” Hilkey said.

Hilkey flew over the large devastated area to assess the damage and see how officials can move forward with search efforts.

The mudslide is about 4 miles long, 2 miles wide and about 250 feet deep in many places, in a remote location that’s very unstable.

“There’s still a gigantic mound of dirt that looks unstable that could cause a secondary slide to come down on top of the first slide,” Hilkey said.

Meanwhile, White’s family is not losing hope.

“They’re all together,” he said. “It’s somber, but my mom says everybody there is strong. Obviously hoping for the best.”