SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS (CBS SF) – A massive mudslide nicknamed “the Great Divide” has lured dozens of curiosity seekers to a storm damaged region of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Local residents fear these ‘disaster tourists’ are putting additional stresses on roads weakened by the stormy weather over the last two months.
The lure to the onlookers is a mudslide that has clawed out a massive section of Highway 35.
“I absolutely understand the curiosity of those who want to see it,” said homeowner Laurel Cockcroft. “But the fact of the matter is this 150-foot section of road that’s slid down the hill is not going to be fixed in the next few weeks.”
Among those who came to take a look is Cesar Ulloa.
“It’s pretty crazy how there’s just a huge hole out of nowhere,” he said. “My friend mentioned to me how people were posting pictures about it. That’s why we came strictly up here.”
On Sunday, a group of local homeowners stopped drivers at base of Black Road, hoping to convince the visitors to leave the area.
“We plead with them not to go up our one remaining road that’s in danger of collapse.” said homeowner Michael Snodgrass. “And we’re trying to keep as many cars off it as we can.”
Black Road is in bad shape. Recent rains have caused several small slides, threatening to wash out the road and it is now the only way in and out of the mountains for local homeowners.
Snodgrass said the additional traffic is putting a great deal of stress on the road.
“Just repeated car traffic is going to put stress on that road,” he told KPIX 5. “There’s already saturated soil under it. And it’s in real danger of sliding down.”