Roads closed, homes threatened in East Bay hills as officials monitor mudslides

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Mudslides continue to threaten East Bay hills residents
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More problems erupted in the East Bay hills after Monday's massive mudslide including several major road closures and homes damaged from the debris.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- More problems erupted in the East Bay hills after Monday's massive mudslide including several major road closures and homes damaged from the debris.

Grizzly Peak, a major road that cuts along the peaks of the Oakland and Berkeley hills, closed for much of the day between the Steam Train and Fish Ranch Road. An early morning accident on slick roads ended up taking out a power pole and downing major transmission lines as crews worked to repair the damage. Grizzly Peak finally reopened to traffic at 5 p.m. CHP also closed down the ramp from Highway 24 at Fish Ranch Road for several hours as mud and debris oozed onto the roadway.

MORE: 8 homes evacuated, with 5 red-tagged after mudslide in Berkeley Hills

The travel difficulties came after a treacherous mudslide slammed into a Berkeley hills home Monday morning. The homeowners escaped and four other homes downhill off the slide were also red-tagged. There are still worries about the slide advancing with more potential rain on the way.

Marjorie Cruz watched as a wall of mud slammed into her living room.

"You know, we just finished remodeling the house. So it's hard to see it all go and will have to start again," she said.

MORE: Experts explain why CA is prone to mudslides, what areas are most vulnerable

But that's what makes it hard for homeowners who deal with mudslides - homeowners policies generally exclude kinds of earth movement and specialty brokers offering mudslide coverage are often difficult to find.

Michael Soller, the California Department of Insurance Deputy Commissioner, says to check with your insurance carrier. He said there are many technicalities. Mudslides caused by fire are covered by homeowners policies. But mudslides caused by rain usually are not. They are sometimes covered by FEMA flood insurance.

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