Officials keep close eye on highways after big storms

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Caltrans crews will monitor the area where a rockslide forced the closure of Highway 41 earlier this week. They'll also monitor other problem areas, like Serpa Canyon, where a little problem can become a big one if ignored. (KFSN)

Friday night, Caltrans crews will continue to keep a very close eye on the area where a rockslide forced the closure of Highway 41 earlier this week.

They'll also monitor other problem areas, like Serpa Canyon, where a little problem can become a big one if ignored. "The little rocks will start moving and if it starts freeing any big soil, if there's any big rocks sitting on top of that soil, it will come down with it," said Caltrans Maintenance Supervisor Adam Wimberley.

Tuesday, big rocks did come down in the Rocky Cut area of Madera County, forcing the closure of Highway 41 for more than 24-hours. The rockslide even caused one crash. "You see a lot of accidents on the 41 as it is and every time we go through those rocks, I pray," said Coarsegold resident Lisa Hurley.

Geologists recommended removing rocks with fractures or likely to move before the highway was reopened. But with more rain ahead, Caltrans crews in the Coarsegold area are on 24-hour storm patrol.

They're monitoring that site and any others known to slip or slide.

They're also clearing debris from hundreds of dead trees due to the drought. "We try to get out in front of the storm and sometimes that's hard to do," Wimberley said. "We've gotten some very significant storms already and we hope to get more rain. We all wish for the rain and we need the rain. But with the rain, comes these issues."

Wimberley says they'll try and fix the issue as soon as possible.

And if you see something in the road, report it, so it doesn't become an even bigger problem.

Related Topics:
weatherweatherrockslidecaltransrainMadera County
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