Northern California storms cause mudslides, 50-mile highway closure

Mudslides caused by thunderstorms in the Dixie Fire burn scar have shut down a nearly 50-mile length of California’s Highway 70, officials said Sunday.

In Plumas County, the road is closed from the Jarbo Gap to the Greenville Wye, according to Caltrans.

Drivers are urged by the California Highway Patrol to take other routes. The CHP stated that “there is no projected time for the route to be reopened”

Andrew Haskins, a CHP spokeswoman, said four different mudslides poured onto the road largely between Rock Creek Dam and Belden.

Small parts of the burn scar “just continued streaming down,” Haskins explained. “The rain was pouring down at the time of the slides.”

CHP officers rescued the drivers of two cars trapped in the mudslides. According to Haskins, “those automobiles will need to be retrieved after the debris cleaning.

Even though the mudslides only cover a few miles of highway, the closure had to be expanded to include wider stretches of road where vehicles may easily turn around.

Northern California saw severe rains from a storm system that originated in the Pacific Northwest and crossed the state’s border. Between noon and 6 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service reported that Plumas County received between 1 and 3 inches of rain.

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