9 am – I am hearing some grumbling from locals on Caltrans’s decision to close the road. I get it, I do, but things have changed. Conditions are not like they used to be where it was understood that we locals took our chances. Now, we have clueless tourists who would also “take their chances” and then ask to be rescued and/or sue if they were injured or their vehicle was damaged. I do have concerns about even emergency vehicles not being able to get through, but I do understand the concerns of Caltrans. Safety first. Always.
UPDATE: This is the rather impressive storm coming in from the GOES Satellite, and the expected rainfall amounts through tomorrow at 4 am. (Scroll down for Highway closure update.)
CALTRANS ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF HWY. 1 AT MUD CREEK/PAUL’S SLIDE
MONTEREY COUNTY — Caltrans has received confirmation from the National Weather Service (NOAA) that a significant storm has reached the areas of Mud Creek (PM 8.9) and Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6) on State Route 1 in the Big Sur area and will close Highway 1at Mud Creek and Paul’s Slideon Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 12 noon until further notice.
The closure initiation process will begin at 10 am with Electronic Message Signs activated and both sets of gates (Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide) closed by noon. Storm activity is forecast through tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 29.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd. (PM 18.9) is the alternate route to reach Hwy. 1 between Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide. However, there is a 12-foot height restriction at one of the bridges along this route. Please feel free to check with Fort Hunter-Liggett for more updated information on their road at: https://www.facebook.com/FortHunterLiggett.
Caltrans’ Geotech, Maintenance and Construction units are on call and prepared to inspect/clean up when the storm ends during the daylight hours and it is safe to be onsite again—we anticipate this to be Friday morning, Nov. 30. Caltrans’ goal is to open the roadway as quickly and safely as possible and our staff remains on-call 24/7.
The gates on either side of Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide will be key locked. These gates will not be manned when the highway is closed and there will be no access to anyone, including Emergency Services or Caltrans employees until a proper assessment can be made and any necessary cleanup has been completed.
NOTE: This advisory applies only to the Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide areas with each closure being treated separately—both are closing today. Please stay tuned for additional information when the roadway opens again. SEE ATTACHED CLOSURE MAP.
5:30 am – Highway One still closed to through traffic. Numerous other roads closed in Monterey County, San Benito County, Santa Cruz County, and Santa Clara County. Fortunately, we will get a few days to dry off before the next rounds begin next week, after this morning’s rain subsides.
Incident: 00329 Type: Traffic Hazard Location: SR1 / BIG CREEK Loc Desc: NB JSO Lat/Lon: 36.069587 -121.599060
1:36 PM 2  1039 DOT
1:36 PM 1  LARGE BOULDER NB LANE
11:30 – Due to the current weather and road conditions, CPOA is postponing its Annual Meeting that was scheduled for this coming Tuesday. A new date will be announced in the near future.
oh, and btw, it is POURING here!
10 am – Several of our most talented and knowageable locals went and took a look at the log jam this am and came to this conclusion:
We (4 guys) got out this morning at first light to evaluate the Redwood log jam on the Big Sur River. We sized up the situation under some down pours and gusty winds. The location is north of Saint Francis Church and south of “Dorwood” which is just south of the Grange. We accessed river left from a foot bridge over the river at this location.
The trees are the victims of an eroded river bank on a piece of State Park property and may not be the only trees to ultimately end up in the River. River left is getting scoured and is undermining the root balls of the remaining trees.
(River side determined by facing down stream),
The obvious solution is to cut the ends of the trees in a way that allowed the trunks to rotate parallel with the flow of the river. And I’m prepared to jump in and just do it, but aside from the danger, it is entirely possible that the trunks could realign in a way that took out the remaining bridges (4) downstream. I’d rather not be known as the guy who took out Brewer’s Bridge.
Aside from the issue of staging, which might be insurmountable, getting a crane involved would be hairy as well, under the current circumstances. The river is pulsing with a lot of energy and the hydraulics could easily out wit and out muscle that piece of equipment.
So, as in most things involving nature, I think we let her take her course, cross our fingers and keep an eye on it until the river goes down
Highway One to open at 11 am.
9 am – San Lorenzo River predicted to top 21 feet by 9 pm this evening. Flood stage is 16.5 feet.
8:30 am –
Big Sur Station Rain Totals:
Storm Total: 4.46″ (since Friday at 4 p.m.)
Overnight Total: 1.4″ (since Saturday at 8 p.m.)
We still have electricity & internet.
The station will be open from 9-4 today. (Thank you Tim Bills)
7:45 am – it has been quiet here since midnight, except for the wind. Most of the lightning and thunder and hail between midnight and 1 am was to the north of here. Little rain at the moment, but predictions are the storm will move southward this afternoon. The road is open north of Lucia, apparently, as I have seen or heard nothing to indicate otherwise. CHP still lists the closures of Palo Colorado, OCR, and south from Lucia to Ragged Point. Crews are probably already out down here on the south end taking care of the constant slides. I am actually going to get my first cup of coffee before 8 am this morning. As always, I will be monitoring throughout the day. Stay safe and aware.
Good morning Everyone.
Distribution to CAO + Key MoCo staff, CPOA, Elected +Staff, MoCo Vol Leadership
Just finished an NWS Weather Briefing.
Timing of storm still on track. Heaviest rain starting late Saturday night into early Sunday morning.
Bull-eye of storm is still TBD, at least the full brunt of the storm is still fluctuating. Looks to be slightly north of MoCo we’ll still get plenty of rain and wind.
Winds this morning are gusting to 40 mph in Monterey and 46 in Big Sur, 21 in King City. Winds are forecast to be strong between 7a-10a Sunday at the same gust levels – 40+ mph.
Still anticipating 8-10″ of rain along the coast with 12-14″ in the higher elevations.
Tides – may it through high tide this morning without any reported incidents. High tide tomorrow at 7:22 a.m. and storm surge not consider to be a problem for MoCo. Tide will be at 6.45 feet with maybe a 1/2 foot storm surge.
Rain once it starts along the coast will be pretty steady and during the overnight hours is forecast to see rain rate of 1-1-1/2″ per hours for extended period.
There are some minor power outages; Carmel highlands – 56 people, Jamesburg – 28, PG 25
OES is monitoring all the time for any changes and will update as warranted. OES Duty Officer and Emergency Manager have been briefed.
I’ll continue to monitor and update as warranted.
I’ve already got rain here, despite contrary predictions. Nice that everything is wet, and more seemed to be coming as dawn arrived, before I got enshrouded in clouds, but the big story is the storm this Thursday and Friday.
From NOAA NWS: “The trends seem to indicate that the heaviest rains with the late
week system will be focused somewhere between the Santa Cruz mtns and Santa Barbara county putting the central coast (i.e. Big Sur) potentially in the bullseye for an incoming southwest flow system. The ecmwf has been pretty consistent with this solution for days
now and the latest 06z gfs is more or less in line. Given the trajectory of the incoming low would expect the heavier rains with the late week system for the southern portions of the district most notably the Santa Cruz mtns and Big Sur hills where 1-4 inches may occur with the late week system Thursday into early Friday.”
And from my SLO forecaster: “In Northern California, a slow moving cold front associated
with this trough of low pressure will push southward today spreading rain as far south as Monterey Bay by tonight, before stalling over Big Sur and dissipating on Tuesday.”
“Just back from walking dogs @ Rocky Creek. Incident jno mm60 (which is just north of the new Rocky Creek viaduct) is entirely cleared. It looks to have been some stray branches from the Westmere cypress trees.” (Martha Diehl)
6:00 am – just got word from a local (sent t 12:30 am, but just received) that Nacimiento is closed due to slides.
As of 5:30 am the CHP website lists 3 areas of concern. (Try as I might, I can’t seem to copy and paste). From South to North they are: MM 26, 34, and 60. MM 26 is Gamboa Point, but the CHP lists it as just north of Limekiln State Park, which is actually closer to MM 20. This one is listed as rocks and boulders and barely enough room for a small car to get through. CHP says there is signage, but not enough. MM 34 is near Esalen’s South Coast Center, and 60 is just South of Palo Colorado Canyon. One of them is a tree that is crossing both lanes, but unclear which. Dawn is still a couple hours away, at which time dawn patrol will be out clearing the way. Until then, be careful, aware, and drive slowly.
11 pm – bedtime. Currently at 1.82″ since midnight. Still raining. Remembered to write down the monthly amount so I can figure out the rain amount for this last hour. Be safe everyone.
Okay, I’ve been taking the day off, but not without checking on things, specifically road conditions. Here is one that won’t affect most of us … It’s on Garrapatos RD.
Incident: 00365 Type: Traffic Hazard Location: 59625 Garrapatos Rd Loc Desc: Lat/Lon: 36.400156 -121.873975
4:39 PM 3  RP HAS PLACED A RR TIE IN THE RDWY
4:38 PM 2  APPRX 200 YDS FRM THE PRVT ROAD
4:36 PM 1  SINK HOLE IN MIDDLE OF RD , DUE TO A CULVERT THAT HAS BEEN UNDERMINED
I have received over an inch since midnight. I forgot to write down the monthly amount so I could figure out later what I received from 8 pm until midnight. Sorry
· Widespread rainfall can be expected with locally heavy rainfall possible, especially along the coastal ranges. The most notable impact will be potential for a wet afternoon/evening commute on Wednesday.
*Impact 2 (Winds):
· South to southeast winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 to 50 mph can be expected in elevations near and above 1000 feet by Wednesday afternoon.
· These wind speeds may result in tree damage that could lead to isolated power outages.
· Difficult driving conditions are also likely in the higher elevations, especially for high profile vehicles and those pulling trailers/campers.
Wind Advisory for the Following Areas:
North Bay Mountains
East Bay Hills and the Diablo Range
Santa Cruz Mountains
Santa Lucia Mountains and Los Padres National Forest
Mountains of San Benito County and Interior Monterey County, including Pinnacles National Park
· Moderate to High for the timing and location of the greatest impact.
· Wind speeds will increase over the region Wednesday morning and peak in the afternoon and early evening.
· Widespread rainfall will mainly impact the region Wednesday afternoon and evening with lingering showers continuing into Thursday.
· Widespread rainfall will impact the entire region on Wednesday.
· The heaviest rainfall will likely occur over the coastal ranges were isolated locations may pick up as much as 1.25” through Thursday night.
· The strongest wind speeds will impact locations near and above 1000 feet in elevations while locally breezy conditions are expected in lower elevations, especially near the coast.
A Pacific storm system will approach the region on Wednesday and spread rainfall across the entire region Wednesday afternoon and evening. Wind speeds will also increase Wednesday morning, peaking during the afternoon and early evening, ahead of a cold frontal passage. A few thunderstorms will be possible late Wednesday afternoon and evening with lingering showers likely through Thursday morning. A secondary, weak weather system passing to the north on Friday will bring another chance of light rain to the North Bay. However, no major impacts are expected at this time from this system.
BTW,this blog is in the finals for MC Weekley’s “best of …” Contest and voting is going on now.