Trucks Cross Highway 101 Slide Bringing Diesel to Support SoHum's Economic Engine
UPDATE: Estelle Fennell at SoHum Awareness is reporting, “County Roads Makes it official. Don’t use Briceland-Ettersburg to go north. Use Alderpoint- Blocksburg- Bridgeville – Highway 36”
A massive slide blocked 101 yesterday as falling water tables pulled liquid-saturated soil down with them. According to the Times Standard, “The Eel River Camp near the U.S. Highway 101 slide measured 16.47 inches of rain this month.” The river is still high but rain has not fallen for days and the water levels are dropping.
Three excavators are working on the 101 slide from both sides. Lights are up so work can continue through the night. The place is crawling with dump trucks, according to Kim Sallaway (Check out his gallery of photos here) who took these photos.
As reported earlier, an emergency “road” was punched through at 1am this morning.
The dirt is packed at least 8 feet above the old asphalt. Fittingly enough, one of the emergency vehicles allowed through was a Renner Diesel truck (yes, I know diesel is a vital fuel source, and we need it for many reasons but I couldn’t help snickering a little at SoHum’s priorities. [Joel–next week’s cartoon?])
Sallaway who rode his bike to photograph the site said today was much more mellow than yesterday. He did not go up on the moving slide today. Instead, he carried his Ipod for the ride and said, “It is a beautiful sunny day. Everyone is in shirt sleeves and in a good mood.” Generally, the mood around town is upbeat and hopeful of a speedy conclusion
Sebastian Cohen, Caltrans District One Hydraulics Engineer and Major Damage Coordinator stated, “Currently, we are trying to figure out soil disposal issues” with land owners. The goals is “by Monday to have at least one lane controlled traffic. Getting kids to school is our main priority.”
Meanwhile, gas prices have raised 6 cents per gallon but contrary to speculation this wasn’t due to the slide. They went up the day before. Fuel trucks, as reported, are getting through and alternative routes have been planned for groceries and other essentials. And according to the Lost Coast Outpost, “The City of Arcata Transportation Division has arranged temporary bus service to redirect passengers whose travel plans are affected by the road closure on Highway 101 north of Garberville.”
Times Standard: Humboldt Co. Makes a Declaration of Emergency
Times Standard: Closure Poses Concern for Local Businesses