The massive atmospheric river downpour that drenched California — especially here in NorCal — caused a stretch of Highway 1 in Big Sur to dive right into the ocean; this Caltrans’ drone footage shows just how much actually dove off the cliffside.
This week's back-to-back storms left the Bay Area inundated with huge amounts of rain and whistle with wind in the night. Here in San Francisco, the rain was mostly an au naturel scrubbing — washing away abandoned pieces of trash and... let's just call it "gunk." Elsewhere in the region, however, didn't escape as unscathed. A PG&E truck washed off the roadway in Aptos; at least one mudslide was reported along the Sonoma County coastline; further down south, the Carmel River Lagoon has since flooded to waist-high levels — overwhelming the homes of some six residents who lived next to the swelling body of freshwater.
Check out this amazing drone video of #Hwy1 washout at Rat Creek about 15 miles south of #BigSur. Our crews are on site securing it, assessing damage & starting clean-up/ repairs. Reminder: the road is OPEN from #Carmel thru town of Big Sur. @bigsurkate @BigSurCC @CHP_Coastal pic.twitter.com/rB193DzXhL— Caltrans District 5 (@CaltransD5) January 29, 2021
But perhaps the most jaw-dropping disaster to come from the inches of rain was the long expanse of Highway 1 near Rat Creek, about 15 miles south of Big Sur, that seemingly disappeared in the night.
And this bird's-eye view of the damage to the roadway show just how much of the scenic highway tumbled down the hillside.
As reported by KPIX, the Caltrans-captured drone footage revealed the complete washout of Highway 1 at mile marker 30 near Big Creek Bridge. (Looking up from the washout, fallen trees are seen littering the gray ground; the spaces on either side of the roadway also appear to be caving in on themselves; it's all an unsettling episode of déjà vu to the 2017 mudslide that cut off parts of the iconic roadway.)
Per the local news outlet, Caltrans confirmed that Highway 1 will remain closed to through traffic at the location until further notice. However, the highway remains open from Carmel through the town of Big Sur.
Image: Screenshot via @CaltransD5