Sections of Highway 70 Closed After Historic Rainfall and Mudslides

Home » Sections of Highway 70 Closed After Historic Rainfall and Mudslides
October 26, 2021
Edward Smith

Mudslides on Highway 70

Multiple sections of Highway 70 closed on Sunday, October 24, 2021, due to rockslides and mudslides. The slides were caused by historic rainfall and high winds, combined with burn scarring from the Camp Fire.

Highway 70 Closed Indefinitely at County Line 

The most significant closure spans from Deadwood Road to the Greenville Y, where Highways 70 and 89 meet. It is not known at this time when that portion of the highway will reopen. As of Monday, October 25th, Caltrans reports that Highway 70 is still closed from the Jarbo Gap in Butte County to the Greenville Y in Plumas County, and motorists are advised to take an alternate route.

Camp Fire Burn Scarring Led to Mudslides

The mudslides and rockslides were so severe in this area due to the burn scarring from the Camp Fire. The burn scarring combined with rainy weather and high winds resulted in rock and mudslides that ultimately blocked the roadway.

According to a supervisor with Caltrans, Sunday’s rainfall caused massive amounts of water to roll down the banks in a quantity that was too much for culverts to handle. A huge rock slide occurred at the Plumas County/Butte County line and included rocks that were as big as houses. He noted that the massive rocks were not going to be moved in the foreseeable near future. He expounded on the situation by saying that with the burn scar, there was also a huge amount of black mud and debris that was clogging the culverts, so he does not anticipate the highway reopening any time soon. In addition to affecting road conditions, the burnt debris runoff is bad for fish.

Caltrans workers will remain on both sides of the rockslide, but the highway must remain closed not only to clear the debris from the slide, but also because of a continuing threat – the Butte County side has very large rocks on the mountain that have been loosened by the rain and can come down at any time. 

Section of Highway 70 Closed in Oroville 

Mudslides in the Feather River Canyon near Oroville also resulted in lanes of Highway 70 being blocked and a closure of the roadway at Deadwood Road on Sunday. 

Problems Throughout Region Due to Historic Rainfall

The amount of rain that came down on Sunday, October 24th, broke records throughout the region. It also caused numerous traffic situations. In addition to the mudslides and highway closures, there were a lot of crashes, reports of vehicles hydroplaning, flooded roads, and trees falling. The CHP put out a statement urging anyone who must drive to use extreme caution, but noted that the best course of action was not to drive at all. 

Watch the YouTube video. The news clip below reports on the closure of Highway 70.

Check Your Commute in Advance

Before you head out in Plumas County, you can visit https://roads.dot.ca.gov/ to check your route in advance. Caltrans District 2 also maintains a Twitter account that provides current road information.

Oroville Personal Injury Lawyer

Hello, and thank you for reading our report on the Highway 70 closures. Winter driving can be dangerous throughout the Northern California region. There are always more accidents in adverse weather conditions. My name is Ed Smith, and I am an Oroville personal injury lawyer. For close to 40 years, the experienced injury attorneys at our firm have been advocating for residents of Plumas and Butte Counties. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a crash that was caused by the carelessness or recklessness of anther driver, call us for free and friendly legal advice at (530) 392-9400. For those who may be calling from another Northern California area code, we provide a toll-free phone number: (800) 404-5400.

To learn more about the services we offer, please visit the links below.

Photo: by Nico Smit via Unsplash

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