Flash flooding washes out part of eastbound 10 Freeway in Riverside County

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Thursday, August 25, 2022
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A portion of the 10 Freeway near Blythe was washed out due to flash flooding, leaving the eastbound side impassable.

DESERT CENTER, Calif. (KABC) -- Flash flooding in eastern Riverside County on Wednesday washed out a section of the eastbound 10 Freeway, causing a major traffic disruption.

Caltrans said shortly after 7:30 p.m. that the 10 Freeway in the Desert Center area, east of Corn Springs Road, was shut down in both directions due to flooding and an overturned big rig.

While traffic on westbound lanes began to slowly move in the evening, eastbound lanes remain shut down for an unknown duration, according to the agency.

"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.

Dramatic video from the scene showed the damage of the washout, including a huge gap in the road caused by the flash flooding. The route is used to transport cargo to destinations across the country after it arrives in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Caltrans crews are working to repair the damaged stretch of the 10 Freeway, the CHP said. Southern California Edison is also working to clear state Route 177 of the downed power lines.

No estimated completion time was given for either operation.

State Route 62 was closed in both directions from state Route 177 to Interstate 95 due to flooding at midnight. Caltrans recommended using Interstate 15 or Interstate 8 for those traveling to Arizona and eastbound.

The National Weather Service announced various flash flooding warnings for the area of the closure until Thursday evening.

City News Service contributed to this report.