Californians have been praying for rain, and this past weekend, they got what they wished for. Heavy rains invaded Southern California, and the amount of water was so extreme, flash flood warnings went into effect and a part of I-10 collapsed, shutting down traffic in both directions.
The heavy rainfall caused what looked like a crater or gully in the middle of I-10, and California Highway Patrol said that I-10 will be closed for some time, according to CNN. The I-10 collapse happened near Desert Center, which is 170 miles east of Los Angeles and 50 miles from the Arizona border. The I-10 freeway stood about 15 feet above the ground.
One driver was injured when the I-10 collapsed, and stranded others since the main roadway between Southern California and Arizona was cut off. Photos show a pickup truck that had fallen into the gully and that police and rescue crews were trying to remove.
Terri Kasinga, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation, told Yahoo News as follows.
“Interstate 10 is closed completely and indefinitely. They won’t even be able to begin assessing the damage until Monday.”
The Cal Fire Riverside Twitter account documented the I-10 collapse between rescuing the trap victim to what the interstate looked like.
Arizona and Southern California residents took to their Twitters to express their concern about I-10 collapsing.
I wonder if I'am the only one tripping out on the fact the freeway just collapsed outta nowhere yesterday...— Jessica lee (@Jessie89Lee) July 20, 2015
Camping a few more days because the freeway to get home flooded out and a bridge collapsed! #eek— Ryan (@modemlooper) July 20, 2015
Sooooo 30 feet of the 10 freeway collapsed today....looks like I won't be getting back to Arizona any time soon????— Rebecca (@beccaabowers) July 20, 2015
The 10 freeway going to Arizona collapsed yesterday, I hope everyone is okay— Jordan✨ (@Jordannn8423) July 20, 2015
Holy cow just saw that a bridge collapsed on the 10 freeway and both sides of the freeway are closed from Desert Center to the AZ border!— Eva Baez (@EvaBaez) July 20, 2015
Pamala Browne and her daughter were driving on the collapsed I-10 and told the Desert Sun newspaper as follows.
“Oh my God, we are so stuck out here. There’s no end to the cars that are stuck out here.”
Although there were hundreds of cars stranded because of the freeway collapse, California Highway Patrol was able to divert them in another direction off the freeway. There are no indications that there are still cars left stranded on the I-10 collapsed freeway.
Normally, in Southern California, July is the driest month of the year. The storm lasted for two days and broke numerous records in Southern California, like having both the Los Angeles Angels’ being rained out, which hasn’t happened in 20 years, and the San Diego Padres being rained out, which hasn’t happened since 2006. The rainfall broke over five records in numerous locations in Southern California.
The positive side to the heavy rainfall was that California needed it, since it has been in a horrible drought, and helped firefighters battle two different fires that were happening over the weekend in Southern California.
[Photo provided by Cal Fire / Riverside County Fire Department]