28 February 2014

Carbon Canyon Road Closure and the Late Winter Storm

Within the last half-hour or so, Carbon Canyon Road has been closed to through traffic at the former Party House/Canyon Market site in Sleepy Hollow.  A Chino Hills Sheriff's deputy is stopping traffic and there is yellow tape up with cones and flares.  There doesn't appear to have been an accident because there are no paramedics or ambulances on scene. 

What might be at issue, perhaps, is a problem with Carbon Creek and its effects on the roadbed of the highway.  This, some will remember, became an issue in the heavy rains of 2004-05, when part of the westbound section of Carbon Canyon Road collapsed between Canyon Hills Road and Canon Lane.

Sheriff's Department personnel were only allowing locals to turn from Chino Hills Parkway to Carbon Canyon Road in the late morning today, when this photo was taken.
 Again, it is not known what the specific problem is, but the creek has had a considerable amount of water from the heavy downpour that hit this area about an hour or so back.

This great view from Olinda Village resident Duane Thompson from the top of the hills high above Carbon Canyon Road shows a waterlogged roadway and there were some mudslides on the steep slopes west of Olinda Village that caused a closure of the highway for some time today.
In any case, at this point, cars are being turned back in both directions.

CORRECTION:  Traffic is also being stopped in both directions at Olinda Village, but whether there is a separate problem, given the steep slopes on the downhill west of there towards Olinda Ranch and possible mudslides there, or related to the Sleepy Hollow incident is not known.

Provided by Olinda Village resident and Hills for Everyone director Claire Schlotterbeck, this view shows a Caltrans vehicle working to remove mud and rocks from the steep slopes west of Olinda Village this morning.
CORRECTION #2:  Chino Hills Sheriff's officers were also stationed at the intersection of Carbon Canyon Road and Chino Hills Parkway to turn away anyone who was not seeking locals-only access to the Chino Hills portion of Carbon Canyon.  A short distance west, the eastbound lane was washed out with water, mud and debris.

At a little before 4 p.m., this is how a section of Carbon Canyon Road looked a little west of Chino Hills Parkway.  All those eastbound commuters in the afternoon rush need to negotiate the "little inland sea" with care until CalTrans can take measures to clear the roadway.
UPDATE, 4:00 P.M.:  Carbon Canyon Road has been long reopened, but the area just east of the intersection of the highway and Chino Hills Parkway that was washed out with water, mud and debris must have dried up to some extent earlier, but that section is again filled with those items.  So, eastbound drivers have to slow considerably to move through that area and westbound drivers need to be alert, as well.  CalTrans is obviously slammed with storm-related problems throughout the region, so putting out sandbags, scooping out debris and other measures are likely to come later, if at all.

Here is a link to a Inland Valley Daily Bulletin piece on a car that got stuck in the area shown in the above photo, but earlier on Friday morning:  click here.

Meanwhile, here is a rare instance of a double rainbow, captured on later Friday afternoon:

An unusual occurrence of a double rainbow, caught by a passenger in this blogger's car, on Chino Hills Parkway, south of Chino Avenue, in Chino Hills on late Friday afternoon.


Stephen Powers said...

Thanks for keeping us updated!

Hopefully they get it cleared or some of us will have a very, very long commute home.

prs said...

Hi Stephen, whatever can be done to help people as they negotiate our rain-soaked canyon . . . thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us updated -- wow, great photos! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Also, it's a kind of reminder ... in real terms, the natural status quo is constantly shifting. To try to set nature in stone and "preserve" it is ultimately futile as an expectation, as storms like this prove. Cliffs crumble and shift. Boulders roll downward. Great photos -- that's what creeks do in heavy rains, always have, and always will.

prs said...

Hello Anonymous, thanks for the two comments and, as you note, landslides and flooding have always been a significant part of the canyon environment.