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California Highway Washed into the Ocean after Heavy Rains — Drone Captures the Damage on Video

Mabale Moloi
Feb 02, 2021
08:30 P.M.

New Drone footage brings into perspective the extent of the damage caused by mudslides due to rainfall on the collapsed Highway 1 in California’s Big Sur area.

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A new drone video released by the Monterey County Sheriff’s office reveals the scale of the damage caused by recent mudslides, which led to Highway 1 collapsing about 45 miles south of Carmel.

A massive hole now separates the road after a mudslide, which is seen sloping towards the Pacific Ocean. Now and then, mud can be seen sliding down the giant hole.

Highway collapsed under floods, 29 January, 2021. |Photo: Getty Images.

Highway collapsed under floods, 29 January, 2021. |Photo: Getty Images.

Further up the cliffside in the opposite direction of the shoreline, the debris is visible in the form of fallen tree trunks and mud that has collected.

Several patrol vehicles and people can also be seen observing the area, presumably assessing the damage. It is not known how long repairing the damage could take, with the sheriff’s office saying:

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"Be aware that you cannot travel through Big Sur to Southern California."

Following a portion of Highway 1 flowing into the ocean on Thursday night, assessors were still working on the following Friday, with an estimated 25 structures said to have been damaged.

Furthermore, around 8000 residents had been instructed to evacuate their homes, according to communications coordinator Maia Carroll.

Experts are pointing their fingers towards climate change.

Highway 1 destroyed as a result of California floods and mudslides, January, 2021. | Photo: Getty Images.

Highway 1 destroyed as a result of California floods and mudslides, January, 2021. | Photo: Getty Images.

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One of those told to evacuate includes Crystal Urite, who told NBC about how she was woken up at 4 am by firefighters, advising the family to leave. According to officials, mudslides had begun sliding in the scar left by the River fire.

Fearing the Covid pandemic, Urite said she didn’t want to be placed in a crowded shelter while hoping the flooding wasn’t as bad as officials were explaining to her. But Urite was wrong, saying:

“We woke up to the water and everything overflowing.”

A different view of the collapsed Highway 1, January, 2021. | Photo: YouTube/kpixcbs.

A different view of the collapsed Highway 1, January, 2021. | Photo: YouTube/kpixcbs.

Urite’s neighbor, Jarrod Domingos, decided against leaving his home with the River fire first burned, coming within 400 yards of his front door. His house had been built by his parents and held sentimental value.

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Knowing very well the River fire would be followed by heavy rain to cool the temperature down, Domingos decided to guard his property, and luckily he survived.

A glimpse into the coastline of the Pacific Ocean where Highway 1 sunk, January, 2021. | Photo: Youtube/kpixcbx.

A glimpse into the coastline of the Pacific Ocean where Highway 1 sunk, January, 2021. | Photo: Youtube/kpixcbx.

California has endured what scientists refer to as concurrent disasters, which began with the fires followed by the heavy rain. In this case, the fires set the stage for flooding and mudslides.

Experts are pointing their fingers towards climate change as the instigator for these natural disasters. Last year, the state suffered its worst fire season in history, where 5 of the largest fires occurred within two months.

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