California Highway 1 collapse leaves 2,000 tourists stranded

A section of Highway 1 in California's Big Sur collapsed over the weekend, stranding about 2,000 motorists, most of them tourists, overnight.

Officials with the California Department of Transportation said a portion of the freeway was closed at Platform X, north of Lime Creek to Limekiln and south, while crews worked the affected areas. Officials said on Friday that a unit called tear point, Closed due to “slide activity north of this location”.

No injuries were reported. The company did not provide an estimate of when it expects to reopen the highway.

On Sunday afternoon, officials from the Monterey County Department of Emergency Management sent convoys with police escorts to evacuate people from affected areas, county spokesman Nicholas Pasculli said.

Visitors who drove through the area are believed to be one of those stranded The most beautiful in the world During the Easter holidays, he had to sleep in temporary shelters at 75 percent capacity, Mr. Pasculli said. Others stayed at local hotels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds, while others slept in their cars, he added.

Another convoy is planned for Monday morning if the crew cannot reach everyone by Sunday night, he said.

“We're hoping to get all the visitors out today. That's our hope. That's our goal,” Mr. Pasculli said. “Suffice it to say, it's a holiday weekend. You know, this is a beautiful area, people love to visit.

Monterey County issued a disaster declaration, and officials urged people to avoid the highway. “We are asking everyone to stay away from the area to allow the safe passage of emergency personnel, emergency vehicles and essential personnel,” Mr. Pasculli said.

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An unseasonably cold and intense storm system along the Southwest Pacific coast this weekend is bringing rain, flash flooding and snow to California and other parts of the country. Flood warning Forecasters said the storm would move along the coast and move inland as it was in effect Sunday in the San Diego area.

Thunderstorms will continue Sunday, according to the National Weather Service office in Los Angeles. Wrote on Sunday. Weather forecasters warned people to prepare for hail, strong winds and even the risk of tornadoes.

Last year, relentless winter storms in California caused landslides that blocked a 20-mile stretch of Big Sur for weeks.

In January 2021, a storm caused similar damage to a section of the highway, and sections were closed after heavy rains threatened to trigger mudslides and rock slides.

Over the years, landslides have taken out sections of California's Highway 1, which stretches more than 650 miles, from south of Los Angeles to north of San Francisco, through Big Sur and over the Golden Gate Bridge. More importantly, in May 2017, about 6 million cubic yards of sediment moved after rainfall, adding 15 acres of beach. The highway was repaired and reopened a year later.

Before that, the largest landslide to damage the highway, commonly known as the Pacific Coast Highway, occurred in 1983 just north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

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