August 30, 2010

Mudslide Clean-Up Continues; Highway 395 Open

Thunderstorm-caused mudslide at Dunmovin, California, pushes a big rig off the northbound U. S. Highway 395 and into a culvert on Thursday, August 26, 2010. Video captured by Jeff Bradshaw of Laguna Niguel shows mud flowing from the southbound lanes and across the divided highway.

Written by Benett Kessler
Sierra Wave

After last Thursday's horrendous flood and mudslide across Highway 395 south of Olancha, Caltrans and others have worked constantly to clear the highway and now to free a big rig that was pushed down into a culvert by the flood.

Susan Lent, PIO of Caltrans, said that the roads are open, but there is a lot of clean-up to do. Intermittent lane closures continue as crews work to clean things up.

Lent said that an Incident Command meeting would take place at the mudslide site on Tuesday among representatives of Caltrans, the CHP, BLM, the Forest Service and DWP. Officials planned to discuss completing clean-up and removal of the big rig which is blocking a culvert.

The initial mudslide had caused complete closure of Highway 395 for several hours. Some motorists headed back to Ridgecrest and detoured through Death Valley although initially Highway 190 was closed due to flooding.

Crews were able to restore northbound and southbound traffic flow, although restricted, by Friday.