The search for three missing men, who disappeared in a mudslide that occurred on Sunday (May 25), has been called off due to concern of another potential slide.

The mudslide that made way in Mesa County, after heavy rainfall on the Grand Mesa, has been estimated to be several hundred feet deep while stretching up to a half-mile wide, and 2-3 miles long.

According to authorities, the men were reported missing after failing to return from inspecting irrigation problems following a first, initial mudslide. Since the ridge had collapsed, Clancy Nichols, 51, his son, Danny Nichols, 24, and Wes Hopkins, 46, have been missing.

Instability of the new terrain has hindered search and rescue efforts, but support for both the missing, and their family’s remains.

“Everyone on the mountain is praying for a miracle right now,” said Mesa County Sherriff Stan Hilkey.

Aerial views of the Grand Mesa, one of the world's largest flat-topped mountains, suggest that this mudslide is anything but small.

During initial search efforts, a drone was used in hopes of using heat detection while scouring the soggy runoff for the three missing men.

Geologists suggest that mudslides are not uncommon in this area, but the size of this slide is what makes it rare.

Mesa County will not continue search and rescue efforts until the area is deemed safe. Resources are hoped to be obtained from the State of Colorado and the federal government to assess the risk of further mudslides. 

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