Highway 50 OPEN but Forecasted Heavy Rains Worrisome

by Placerville Newswire / Feb 15, 2017 / comments

Caltrans reported that Highway 50 had reopened from Pollock Pines to Strawberry at 10:30 pm. Tuesday after multiple mudslides had closed in both directions between Pollock Pines and Strawberry in El Dorado County for days.

"Highway 50 will remain 'closed indefinitely' as crews slog their way through clearing three major mudslides across a 12-mile stretch, as well as several smaller, active mudslides" according to Caltrans a few days ago.  

The first mudslide occurred near Sand Flat around 5:30 p.m. Friday, covering all four lanes of traffic, according to Caltrans.

A second mudslide between Whitehall and Kyburz occurred Saturday afternoon. Though it is smaller than the initial mudslide, crews are facing more difficulty clearing it because the slope is steep, Caltrans said.

The third mudslide also occurred Saturday afternoon two miles east of Kyburz, Caltrans said. That one is about 400 feet long.

“The slope is a mix of sand and boulders with little cohesion,” Caltrans said in a release.

Highway 50 at Cave Rock has reopened also after the slide there was cleaned up.

While some welcomed the re-opening of the Highway, they did so with some hesitation as they asked, "but for how long" as heavy rain is forecast for late tonight and most of the day on Thursday.

-- Detailed Forecast - Placerville CA

- Tonight

Rain after 4am. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 48. Southeast wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

- Thursday

Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 57. South wind 10 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.