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Hawkins Family & Town Of Collbran Release Statements On Mudslide

Collbran, Landslide
Mesa County Sheriff's Office

The family of one of the men missing after Sunday's massive mudslide and the town of Collbran have released statements about the natural disaster.

The family of Wes Hawkins, a district water manger for the Collbran Conservancy District, said he was doing his job when the West Salt Creek Mudslide occurred.

Clancy Nichols, 51, a Mesa County Road & Bridges employee, and his son, Danny Nichols, 24, along with Hawkins, 46, reportedly went to investigate an irrigation ditch that they feared might have been damaged by another landslide that happened Sunday morning.

The ditch, which receives runoff from the Grand Mesa, supplies water to local ranchers.

On Sunday evening, a second massive landslide happened. And the men were reported missing.

"Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families and community members that have suffered losses," said Collbran's town administrator Davis Farrar in a statement released Tuesday. 

In an interview with KVNF, Farrar said Collbran is a "tight-knit community" and a tragedy like the mudslide is felt by all.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office has called of the search for the men as a result of the risk of another landslide. Officials are presuming them dead. 

Emergency personnel said aerial surveys in the area will continue.

Laura joined KVNF in 2014. She was the news director for two years and now works as a freelance reporter covering Colorado's Western Slope. Laura is an award-winning journalist with work recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Broadcasters Association, and RTDNA. In 2015, she was a fellow for the Institute for Justice & Journalism. Her fellowship project, a three-part series on the Karen refugee community in Delta, Colorado, received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.