Hillside stable in wet weather | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hillside stable in wet weather

Sally J. Taylor

Mud that washed onto U.S. Highway 50 near the scene of several major slides in the American River Canyon may have scared drivers traveling through the area Tuesday, but transportation officials say the slopes themselves are holding.

“It’s primarily surface erosion. We don’t have any deep-seated movement,” said Jim Morris, California Department of Transportation associate transportation engineer. “It is significant erosion and we’re working on those areas.”

Since the Mill Creek Slide closed the highway for much of January and February a year ago, Caltrans officials and instruments monitor the area for rainfall and ground movement 24 hours a day. Morris, who called from his office in the valley, plans to visit the sites today and check out the instruments and slopes.

Three to four inches of rain fell Monday night at the monitored sites, Morris said.

“There isn’t anything different (on the instrumentation) than during other storms. Nothing is showing significant change,” he said.

A jackknifed big rig did close the highway for a short time early Tuesday afternoon when it slid sideways due to slick roads, according to a California Highway Patrol spokesman.

Slight movement is detected at the Cleveland Corral Slide near St. Pauli’s, but it has been creeping downhill for the last three years, Morris said. The site is considered a different type of slide phenomenon and not likely to cause a major slide.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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