Mudslide blocks Highway 1 near Big Sur

February 17, 2009 12:12:44 PM PST
Mudslides in Monterey County have shut down state Highway 1 in north and southbound directions this morning, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

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Moments after the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Big Sur and Central California portions of Monterey County, a debris slide blocked the Pacific Coast Highway to through traffic at about 6:30 a.m. roughly one-half mile north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, CHP officer Caggiano said.

The weather service warning for the area came at 6:03 a.m. when heavy rain was reported in an area already saturated by prior storm systems and destabilized by the July 2008 Basin Complex Fires that burned over 100,000 acres, meteorologist Mark Strobin said.

No injuries have been reported on Highway 1, Caggiano said.

The coastal route will be impassible until a crew and debris plow can remove the slide, Caggiano said, adding that there is no estimated time for the route to be reopened.

The flash flood warning by of the National Weather Service for Monterey County was valid until 7 a.m., Strobin said.

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