SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — A potent winter storm front moved eastward Monday, but the threat of devastating mudslides lingered like a time bomb buried deep beneath the rain-saturated Bay Area hillsides.
Crews were busy from the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Sierra passes removing large slides that made travel treacherous and difficult.
On Highway 17 south of Sugarloaf Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, tons of rock and debris came crashing down onto the roadway, slamming into a television news van.
One person in the ABC Channel 7 van was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and the van was crushed.
All southbound lanes were closed as crews worked all morning to clear wreckage and debris.
Another mudslide in Niles Canyon shut down Route 84 between Fremont and Sunol.
Meantime, flooding continued to wreak havoc on Bay Area roads during the Monday morning commute.
Crow Canyon Road was closed between Norris Canyon Road in Castro Valley and Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon while crews worked to clear mud and debris.
In Napa and Sonoma Counties, Route 28 was blocked due to flooding. Motorists were advised to expect delays and use alternate routes until at least 3 p.m.
The northbound lanes of Highway 1 were closed for 11 hours.
The rain-saturated hill on the side of Highway 1 in Pacifica gave way at around 11 p.m. Sunday night, unleashing mud, dirt and rocks that piled up as high as 15 feet.
The slide happened just north of Reina Del Mar and backed up traffic all along the Peninsula coast.
As the morning commute began, officers began one-way traffic control, alternating north and southbound traffic in the southbound lanes.
In Gilroy, Silva’s Crossing was closed due to severe flooding as water from the Uvas Creek spilled onto the roadway.
VIDEO COURTESY OF GILROY FIRE DEPARTMENT:
In each case, Caltrans moved in heavy equipment as they did in Pacifica to get the mess cleared and traffic moving again.
With another inch and a half expected between now and Wednesday, there likely will be more mud slides to come.