“Rat Creek,” the blogger Kate Woods Novoa tweeted Thursday, “is not looking good.”
Woods Novoa attached a couple of pictures by Dave Nelson as proof:
Rat Creek, at the southern end of Big Sur in the burn scar, is not looking good. Photos by Dave Nelson pic.twitter.com/290okF7Jdi
— bigsurkate (@bigsurkate) January 28, 2021
Rat Creek is about 257 km south of San Francisco. It runs down from the mountains and underneath a section of State Route One. It looks pretty dry on its satellite image in Google Maps, but it’s been a rainy few days in California, over an inch in the past 24 hours in nearby San Simeon.
Woods Novoa was right about Rat Creek not looking good because by this morning things were looking far worse.
As of 7 am, photo by Heath Johnston, Rat Creek, MM 30 pic.twitter.com/pCMURkOibd
— bigsurkate (@bigsurkate) January 29, 2021
This is not the first time a part of California’s famous One has fallen into the ocean nor will it be the last; officials here even have a term for it: “slip out.”
Caltrans spokesperson Jim Shivers said the damage to the highway is called a slip out. “It’s where we lose a part of the highway and now we’re facing a project to clean and repair that stretch,” Shivers said. “This is the only location we’re aware of where this happened in the storm. Our maintenance team is patrolling the highway now to look for other damage.”
Shivers said it’s unknown when the road will be reopened, but engineers are assessing the situation and should have more information later today.
“Anyone familiar with the history of Highway 1 knows that once we get into the rain season, slides of various degrees, slip outs, rock slides is what we face and what we know will happen,” Shivers said.
I appreciate Shivers’ hardiness in the face of Mother Nature, and I also am sad for anyone who planned to drive that stretch of Highway One anytime soon. But it’ll be back, eventually.