Heavy rainfall has damaged a scenic stretch of California’s famous coastal Highway 1, flooding some areas and washing one chunk of the road into the ocean, new drone footage shows.

Video posted Sunday by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office shows the extent of the damage, including the massive chasm where part of the road fell into the Pacific Ocean.


Construction crews work on a section of Highway 1 which collapsed into the Pacific Ocean near Big Sur, California on January 31, 2021.


JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

The damage happened on Thursday during a winter storm that brought down a mix of rain and snow, triggering floods and mudslides near Big Sur.

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“This section of roadway, specifically the southbound lane, had fallen off into the ocean,” California Highway Patrol Officer John Yerace told CNN, while recounting the damage he saw on Thursday.

The drone footage shows the hole left by the missing road, as well as several areas that were flooded or covered in debris from mudslides.

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Mudslides have become a major hazard in some parts of California, especially in places where wildfires have burned through in recent years. Trees often hold hillsides together with their roots, but once they’re dead the earth can easily give way and cause a mudslide during a storm.

No one was injured in the collapse last week, but the damage has snarled traffic along the busy route between Northern and Southern California.

Crews are examining the damage and developing a strategy to rebuild the road.




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