DESERT CENTER, Calif. (KABC) -- Caltrans crews have been busy Thursday repairing the section of the Interstate 10 that collapsed from a thunderstorm that brought pounding rain and flash floods to eastern Riverside County.
The vital route is one of the main arteries in and out of Southern California - it's the main highway from Los Angeles to Phoenix.
"It is a large thoroughfare from L.A. to Phoenix, so obviously that is going to be a pretty large impact as far as traffic wise and moving product," said Eric Dionne from Caltrans. "The team is working as we speak right now, so they're going to try to get it done as safely as possible."
Caltrans says barring any more severe weather, they expect to have the I-10 fully reopened by Monday.
The power of Mother Nature was on display late Wednesday afternoon, with torrents of muddy water undermining portions of Interstate 10 in the Desert Center area, east of Corn Springs Road, . The storm caused a major traffic backup, with alternate routes flooded.
"At the same time, the alternate route of state Route 177 was blocked by downed power lines, making it impassable also," said California Highway Patrol Officer Jordan Girard. "Currently, eastbound traffic on Interstate 10 is being diverted at state Route 86. Alternate routes include northbound Interstate 15 to Interstate 40."
Flooding also forced the closure of State Route 78 in both directions at 14th Avenue near Blythe.
This wasn't the first time flash floods severed the route. In 2015, the I-10 was brought to a standstill when all eastbound lanes were washed away by a river of rushing water.
City News Service contributed to this report.