Evacuation warning issued near Big Sur Highway 1 landslide

Authorities are urging residents who live near Big Sur’s latest landslide — where a chunk of cliffside road crashed into the ocean — to evacuate as more rain approaches, warning that vehicles emergency workers will not be able to access homes and businesses along a nearly 30-mile route. stretch of scenic Highway 1.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation warning Wednesday morning for Big Sur communities ahead of forecast showers and thunderstorms, which officials say could destabilize or further damage the roadway — the only route to entry or exit for nearly 1,400 inhabitants.

The evacuation warning has been issued for residents living in the area extending south of the recent landslide near the Rocky Creek Bridge in Carmel-by-the-Sea to north of the Dolan Point landslide, where another road closure has been in effect since a January 2023 landslide.

Officials have already announced a temporary halt to twice-daily one-lane convoys that allowed residents and essential workers to pass through the Rocky Creek exit. Due to the rains, there will be no convoys on Thursday and Friday.

“If you are in an evacuation warning zone, consider leaving before the road closure,” Monterey County officials said in a statement. “The road is expected to be closed for several days until the weather event passes through the area. If you feel unsafe, are medically fragile, or are not prepared to be isolated for several days, leave immediately.

Residents were encouraged to evacuate north via the last convoy traveling at 4 p.m. Wednesday, before that stretch of Highway 1 was completely closed.

“Emergency medical services may not be able to evacuate patients beyond road closures,” county officials said. “Those experiencing a medical emergency may not be able to leave the area to access hospitals or other medical services. »

A cold storm in the Pacific is expected to bring rain and cool temperatures across California as early as Wednesday evening.

Although National Weather Service officials said it was not a particularly wet storm, rainfall totals along the Big Sur coast could still reach a half-inch Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service. But thunderstorms could bring heavier rainfall to some local areas, meteorologists said.

County officials are concerned that these amounts could cause additional damage along Highway 1, the release said.

The first slip-up on Saturday occurred when a storm dumped heavy rain on the region. Rain continued to threaten Highway 1, causing devastating mudslides and landslides.

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