Washed-out highway
The washed-out portion of Interstate 10 west of Blythe. Courtesy Caltrans

A portion of Interstate 10 in Riverside County was washed out due to flash flooding, leaving the eastbound side impassable early Thursday morning.

The transcontinental highway east of Desert Center and west of Blythe was washed out at approximately 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jordan Girard.

“At the same time, the alternate route of state Route 177 was blocked by downed power lines, making it impassable also,” Girard added. “Currently, eastbound traffic on Interstate 10 is being diverted at state Route 86.

“Alternate routes include northbound Interstate 15 to Interstate 40.”

Caltrans is working to repair the damaged portion of Interstate 10 and it is unknown when the work will be completed. “Additionally, Southern California Edison is also working to clear state Route 177 of the downed power lines, also with an unknown time of completion,” Girard said.

The National Weather Service announced various flash flooding warnings for the area of the closure until Thursday evening, and flash flooding contributed to the large gaps of freeway that had washed away.

Sharon Leath, a dispatcher with California Highway Patrol told The Los Angeles Times there were seven overturned tractor-trailers reported on Interstate 10 with one person injured.

An overturned big rig along the freeway contributed to the massive backup on Wednesday along Interstate 10, which temporarily left some motorists stranded, according to reports from the scene.

State Route 62 was closed in both directions from state Route 177 to Interstate 95 due to flooding at midnight. Caltrans recommended using Interstate 15 or Interstate 8 for those traveling to Arizona and eastbound.

Updated at 6 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock