UPDATE: US 395 reopens after mudslide near Nevada-California state line | TahoeDailyTribune.com

UPDATE: US 395 reopens after mudslide near Nevada-California state line

Associated Press

Eighteen hours after closing due to a 100-foot mudslide, U.S. 395 reopened at 12:25 p.m. Tuesday.

A score of workers and 15 pieces of equipment cleared 5-foot deep deposits of mud from the highway overnight, according to Nevada Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meg Ragonese.

"NDOT staff truly made Herculean efforts to remove the more than 5 feet of accumulated mud on the roadway," she said. "We also appreciate the assistance of Caltrans who provided a loader to assist with mudslide debris removal."

A downpour sent mud and debris into the highway around 6:30 p.m. Monday, forcing the closure of U.S. 395 and trapping about 20 motorists on the highway.

Also trapped were 200 customers and employees of the Topaz Lodge, who had to seek refuge on the casino's second floor as muddy water roiled into its bottom floor.

Ragonese said the prospect of additional storms and saturated soils will keep Nevada transportation workers with their equipment in the vicinity during the rest of the week.

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Since last night, three mudslides were reported in this area on U.S. 395.

About 200 yards of the southernmost mudslide affecting the highway was within the boundaries of Caltrans District 9, Ragonese said.

"Caltrans District 9’s Sonora and Bridgeport crews were on hand actively working to direct traffic and clear the roadway for safe passage."

UPDATED: Big mudslide blocks US 395 near Nevada-California state line

Crews were working Tuesday to reopen a major highway in the Sierra that was shut down by a huge mudslide at Topaz Lake near the Nevada-California state line.

The mudslide covered U.S. 395 with 100 feet of debris as deep as 5 feet in some spots Monday night and forced the temporary evacuation of part of the Topaz Lodge casino.

Dozens of vehicles were temporarily stranded in the lodge parking lot, but no injuries were reported.

Nevada and California highway officials say there’s no estimate for reopening the route in the area about 50 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe.

Up to an inch of rain fell in about an hour before the mudslide cascaded down the hillside on the western side of the highway at about 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“It was up to 5 feet deep. Our crews were out there all night,” Nevada Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said.

“Our first operation was to clear a path for emergency responders so they could get back and forth through the mudslide,” she said. “They’re finishing up the cleanup efforts but there’s no ETA for reopening the highway, particularly with the continued chance of thunderstorms.”

Southbound traffic was being rerouted at Holbrook Junction at Nevada State Highway 208.

For northbound traffic, the closure begins just north of the California agricultural inspection station.

Five rooms at the Topaz Lodge suffered mud and water damage and as many as 200 people were evacuated to the second floor Monday night.

Douglas County emergency crews were assessing the possible impact to homes and infrastructure near the lodge on Tuesday.

The region has been experiencing thunderstorms and heavy rain for several days, and rain remains in the forecast into Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

Updates on road conditions are available at nvroads.com, or by calling 511.

ORIGINAL POST: Big mudslide blocks US 395 near Nevada-California state line

TOPAZ LAKE, Nev. — A huge mudslide has forced the closure of U.S. 395 at Topaz Lake just north of the Nevada-California state line.

The California Department of Transportation says Monday’s mudslide is 100 feet (30.5 meters) in length and up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) deep.

Nevada and California highway officials say there’s no estimate for reopening the route in the area about 50 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe.

For northbound traffic, the closure begins just north of the California agricultural inspection station.

The region has been experiencing thunderstorms and heavy rain. The National Weather Service Office in Reno issued a flood warning around 6:45 p.m. Monday.