Flooding in California Leads to Road Closures

Jan. 13, 2023
Extreme weather has been plaguing the state since December

California has been experiencing extreme weather with storms overwhelming the state with floodwaters. The storms have caused mass evacuations, along with widespread power outages, downed trees, and difficult driving conditions. Parts of California have received more than 3 feet of rain since Christmas, while the Sierra Nevada Mountains have had a record snowfall, surpassing seasonal averages.

Dozens of major roads around the state remain closed because of flooding and slide concerns, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) says. Caltrans districts across the state are "strongly advising the public to avoid traveling if you can."

The largest impact is along US-101 between the coastal towns of Ventura and Gaviota, which connects the Santa Maria region to the Oxnard region. This is important since both Oxnard and Santa Maria are now somewhat isolated due to road closures with limited options for rerouting.

CA-166 connecting Bakersfield to Santa Maria is closed, leaving CA-41 and CA-46 the only open routes for vehicular traffic and the only way in and out of San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties for heavy trucks. Both routes are 2-lane highways and will see excess traffic due to the closures to the south creating delays. This is important to note because those that run trucks from Fresno through Santa Maria and into Oxnard will have to be rerouted over Interstate 5.

CA-126 Connecting Ventura County and the regions of Piru and Fillmore to Interstate 5 is also closed west of the town of Fillmore due to flooding.

CA-198 is used as a bypass between Interstate 5 from the city of Coalinga to the Salinas Valley town of San Lucas to US-101 is also closed.

Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles is seeing flooding and landslides in some areas, with lane closures affecting the flow of traffic there as well.

In Chatsworth, a large sinkhole in the 11400 block of Iverson Road, near the 118 Freeway, led to a rope rescue of two people by Los Angeles city firefighters just before 8:50 P.M. Monday. Both of them were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

By Tuesday, the sinkhole had grown as wide as Iverson, CBS Los Angeles reported.

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Sources: CBS, Caltrans