Drone footage has captured a massive landslide that washed away a significant portion of California‘s Highway One near Big Sur.
A large chunk of the road in Monterey County, about 15 miles south of the famous beach destination, collapsed on Thursday and Friday following heavy rains.
No one was injured as highway officials had closed the road in anticipation of mud slides that the area is prone to during bad weather and as a result of the Atmospheric River.
The road is closed indefinitely whilst highway engineers assess the damage and how to start repairs.
A massive section of Highway 1 in Big Sur California collapsed and washed away into the ocean Friday January 29, 2021 when the cliffside below gave way amid torrential rains and wind brought on by the Atmospheric River
Both the south and north bound roads were closed indefinitely following the collapse
Caltrans crews responded to a segment of road that collapsed near Mile Marker 30 near Big Creek Bridge and closed the highway indefinitely
Shocking drone footage showed the devastation of the mudslide
The footage captures how the road crumbled away, leaving jagged parts of the tarmac and highway markings still visible, hanging over the crater
The mudslide was brought on by torrential rain as well as the Atmospheric River
Shocking drone footage from highway patrol, Caltrans District 5 as well as NBC Bay Area, captured the sheer drop into the Pacific Ocean.
John Yerace, California Highway Patrol officer, said: ‘Yesterday (Thursday) around 4 pm I was in the area, when I noticed this section of roadway, specifically the southbound lane, had fallen off into the ocean. I stayed in the area until I was relieved last evening. Around 6 p.m the roadway still consisted of a northbound lane. Some time overnight, prior to 6:30am in the morning, we responded back to the scene with the assistance of Caltrans access and realized that the roadway is now gone.’
The highway patrol posted photos of the mudslide to social media and encouraged Californians to avoid the area, as conditions were still dangerous.
The road remains closed with drivers encouraged to plan ‘alternative roads’.
Yerace added: ‘Please continue to exercise extreme caution on rural roads, especially at night.’
The area is prone to big mud slides in bad weather.
In 2017 the biggest landslide Big Sur had ever seen cut 30-miles of coastline off for nearly a year and made the area accessible only by helicopter.
The road near the aptly named Mud Creek in Monterey County collapsed into the ocean.
In 2017 a mudslide in Big Sur at the aptly named Mud Creek cut off the road north of Ragged Point in Monterey County. Pictured is the aftermath on May 25, 2017
The region serves as the stunning back drop to the HBC show Big Little Lies, starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, with its famous Bixby Bridge in the opening credits.
In 2019 tourists who flooded the area to take selfies on the bridge and beaches were shamed by a banner on the bridge that claimed: ‘Overtourism is killing Big Sur’.
An Instagram account under the handle ‘Big Sur Hates You’ cropped up and began publicly shaming tourists infiltrating the community of fewer than 2,000 year-round residents.