2,000 Tourists Stranded After Collapse of California Highway 1

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Highway 1 Collapse in Big Sur, California

A dramatic incident unfolded on scenic Highway 1 in Big Sur, California, as a section of the road crumbled, leaving approximately 2,000 stranded travelers, mostly tourists, overnight.

Known for its breathtaking views of rocky cliffs, lush mountains, and panoramic beaches, the Pacific Coast Highway suffered a major blow when a portion of the southbound lane collapsed into the ocean.

No injuries were reported, but the closure of the highway by the California Department of Transportation sparked a massive effort to repair the damage and reopen the roadway for public use.

While the cause of the collapse was not immediately clear, heavy rain in the area near Rocky Creek Bridge, about 17 miles south of Monterey, was cited as a possible factor.

Emergency Response and Evacuation

Following the emergency closure, officials swiftly mobilized to assist stranded motorists, organizing convoys to safely move people out of the affected areas.

Many visitors caught in the incident were forced to spend the night in temporary shelters, hotels, or even their cars, highlighting the impact of the highway closure on holiday travelers.

Monterey County declared a disaster and urged the public to steer clear of the affected section to facilitate the movement of emergency vehicles and personnel.

Severe Weather Conditions

An unseasonably cold storm system ravaged the Pacific Coast, triggering floods and snowfall in California. A flood warning was issued in San Diego as the storm made its way inland.

Unpredictable weather patterns persisted, with forecasts warning of hail, strong winds, and even a potential risk of tornadoes, underscoring the need for caution.

Similar weather events in the past have wreaked havoc on Highway 1, causing landslides and road closures that disrupted travel along the scenic route.

Historical Road Hazards

Over the years, landslides have posed a recurring threat to Highway 1, impacting its scenic beauty and functionality along the vast coastline of California.

Notably, the highway witnessed significant landslides in 2017, resulting in massive earth movement and erosion, leading to extensive repair work.

Previous incidents in 2021 and 1983 also highlighted the vulnerability of the highway to natural disasters, emphasizing the ongoing challenges of maintenance and safety.

Read More of this Story at www.nytimes.com – 2024-04-01 00:35:49

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