Evacuation Warning Issued for Big Sur as Coast Braces for More Rain

Evacuation Warning Issued for Big Sur as Coast Braces for More Rain

California Highway 1, shown here in 2021, hugs the coastline near Big Sur’s Limekiln State Park. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

4/3/2024

Updated: 4/3/2024

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Officials are asking residents of a small community along the Central California coast to leave immediately before the next rainstorm hits April 4.
The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office issued the evacuation warning Wednesday for Big Sur, a community of about 5,200 residents, ahead of Thursday’s expected storm.
The warning covers residents located near a section of the state’s historic Highway 1, just south of the Rocky Creek Bridge–about 17 miles south of Monterey–to the Dolan Slide area.
The California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Transportation closed 40 miles of the coastal roadway Saturday after a giant chunk of it collapsed into the ocean following last weekend’s heavy rains. The closure stranded as many as 1,600 people in Big Sur.
The roadway collapse backed up traffic for miles in both directions Saturday. A single lane was reopened Sunday allowing convoys of vehicles to be escorted through.
The iconic coastal highway has closed in the past after severe weather caused collapses and mudslides.
On Wednesday, county officials encouraged residents to evacuate in the last convoy scheduled for 4 p.m.
“If you are in an evacuation Warning Zone, consider leaving before the road closure,” the county said in the social media post.
The county expects to keep the road closed for several days until this week’s storm passes through the area.
Those feeling unsafe, medically fragile, or unprepared to be isolated for several days, were asked to leave immediately.
People who might require emergency medical services may not be able to leave the area as access to hospitals and other medical services will be limited, the county reported.
Forecasted storms may cause additional damage along the route, according to the county.
The National Weather Service said it expects rain showers to begin before 11 a.m. Thursday, with a chance of nighttime thunderstorms. Rain is expected to continue until about 11 a.m. Friday, with wind gusts reaching as high as 22 miles per hour.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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