Torrential Rains Send Part of California Highway Plummeting Into the Ocean
Big Sur, CA – A section of California’s scenic State Route 1 has “fallen into the ocean” following a week of inclement weather that saw torrential rains, high winds, flooding and mudslides.
One slide resulted in a section of SR1, located about 22 miles south of Big Sur in Rat Creek, being washed away into the Pacific Ocean in an event called a “slip out.”
A slip out is “where we lose a part of the highway and now we’re facing a project to clean and repair that stretch,” said Jim Shivers, a spokesperson for Caltrans.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Monterey, Thursday’s slip out occurred at mile marker 40 and the San Luis Obispo county line.
CHP’s Captain Kyle Foster said that mudslides were wreaking havoc in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties, but it does not immediately appear any other slip outs occurred as a result.
Caltrans officials were at the scene on Friday to assess the damage.
Shivers said Caltrans continues to patrol the highway to look for any additional damage that may have taken place.
Caltrans does not have an estimated time when it expects the road to be reopened.
According to the SacBee.com, approximately 45 miles of the scenic roadway have been closed since Tuesday in preparation for rain and potential storm impacts in the area, including the section where the slip out occurred.
As a result, no injuries were reported.
This particular stretch of highway is prone to mudslides, and CHP and Caltrans will preemptively close down sections of roadway to reduce risk to motorists.
In fact, a massive mudslide near Big Sur in May 2017 resulted in a road closure that lasted more than a year and cost $54 million to fix.