Update: Highway 395 reopened after Monday mudslide
May 21, 2018
Update: Eighteen hours after closing due to a 100-foot mudslide, Highway 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 Highway 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.
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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.
Since last night, three mudslides were reported in this area on U.S. Hwy 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.”
Previous story: Rescuers estimated about 200 people were sheltering on the second floor of the Topaz Lodge after severe mudslides struck the area and inundated the ground floor on Monday evening.
Nevada Department of Transportation crews were working to clear a lane of Highway 395 so about two dozen motorists could escape from the area to the north.
Highway 395 is closed at Holbrook Junction. Monitor Pass is open for those who don’t want to wait for the road to be cleared, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Douglas County officials said residents are sheltering in place, but that there was no obvious damage to homes.
The flooding struck in two places, at the Lodge and at Topaz Park Road, rendering the highway impassable.
Authorities are also checking at Highway 208 and Albite Road where reports say floodwaters were undermining the road.
Douglas County, Nevada Highway Patrol, California Highway Patrol and Mono County emergency personnel responded to the slides, which were first reported around 6:20 p.m.
Heavy rain in the Slinkard Fire burn area resulted in sending mud, boulders and debris onto roads around the area.
Fire officials said many of the roads in the community of Topaz Lake were affected by mud and debris.
Previous Story: Highway 395 is closed at Holbrook Junction after mudslides occurred near Topaz Lake, trapping more than two-dozen vehicles.
Rescuers on scene said the highway was impassible and that the Topaz Lodge was inaccessible. The first report of trouble came in at 6:20 p.m.
Four occupants of a vehicle on Topaz Park Road reported water was up to the running boards. They were not in any danger of being washed off the road as of 6:55 p.m.
East Fork firefighters, Douglas County Search & Rescue and Douglas deputies responded on the north side of the slides.
Mono County firefighters, deputies and California Highway Patrol officers tackled the south side of the incident.
Topaz Lodge has water coming into the lodge, but it is slowing down officials reported at 7 p.m.
The Nevada Department of Transportation is equipment down to help clear the highway.
Heavy rains struck Carson Valley on Monday afternoon, with several lightning strikes hitting around Gardnerville.
NV Energy reported 127 customers were without power
Most lived in Gardnerville and were expected to be restored by 8:15 p.m. The same time was listed for Gardnerville Ranchos residents.