Rain, mudslides hamper commute in Santa Cruz Mountains

FELTON, Calif. (KGO) -- The Santa Cruz Mountains have experienced a string of mudslides during these recent Bay Area storms. One shut down part of Highway 9 in Felton.

Caltrans has a truck about a half mile from the road closed sign, but the slide itself is even farther away. The highway is closed for miles in either direction out of an abundance of caution.

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Dangerous hillsides are all across the South Bay in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Highway 9 is closed in both directions through the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

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"I love living in the area. The mudslides are definitely an inconvenience, and well it kind of sucks. But it comes with the territory," commuter Steve Elkins.

"Normally I would go down Highway 9 but I'm going to have to go up and around Graham Hill to get into Santa Cruz later," commuter Marie Walkuski said.

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Blame the nonstop rain that also hampered the morning commute. On Highway 17, the more popular route through the Santa Cruz Mountains, a smaller landslide was seen near The Cats restaurant near Los Gatos. But the street remained open.

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Crews were able to recover from the roadblock at Vine Hill Road, a scary landslide that injured an ABC7 News photographer. He's recovering at home on Tuesday.

All lanes reopened around 6:30 a.m. although heavy equipment can still be seen everywhere, ready to go at a moment's notice.

To say that law enforcement and Caltrans crews are busy in the area would be an understatement. It's starting to rain again in the area and there's no ETA when Highway 9 will reopen.

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