Flooding damage causes ‘severe’ destruction to county roads
RIVERSIDE — The county distributed more than 150,000 sandbags and almost 800 tons of sand as the county, cities and residents prepared for the historical flooding damage Tropical Storm Hilary caused.
That was the word delivered to Riverside County Supervisors when they met in special session Monday. They also voted unanimously to ratify the County of Riverside’s local emergency proclamation, in support of requests from Coachella Valley cities. Supervisors also agreed to seek a major presidential declaration to pursue the resources necessary for the damages and response costs to the county, valley cities and individual assistance.
“This is the (costliest) natural disaster in county history, with the damage sitting at an estimated $126 million, and the vast amount of damage in the Coachella Valley,” Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said in a statement. “The damage to our roads has been severe. Our transportation department has been out in force to clear the roads for access, but recovery and ultimately the repair and reopening of all roads will continue to take some time.”
Riverside County transportation crews made progress over the weekend on cleanup and repair on several major county roadways in the Coachella Valley that have been closed following Hurricane Hilary, which brought one of the largest amounts of flooding damage in Riverside County history.
The following is an update on the cleanup and repair efforts on currently closed county roadways as of Monday, August 28:
- Thousand Palms Canyon Road, which runs between Thousand Palms and the communities of Indio Hills and Sky Valley, is currently closed between Dillon Road and Ramon Road. Roadway repair work is ongoing, and the county anticipates having the roadway reopened by the end of the week (Friday, Sept. 1).
- In Thousand Palms, Rio Del Sol Road is currently closed due to ponding water just north of Varner Road within the City of Cathedral City. The City of Cathedral City is taking the lead on the closure. A timeframe for reopening has not been determined at this time.
- Between Mecca and Interstate 10 near Chiriaco Summit, Box Canyon Road is currently closed between the All-American Canal and Interstate 10. Roadway repair work is scheduled to start this week. A timeframe for reopening has not been determined at this time.
In the Desert Hot Springs area:
- North Indian Canyon Drive: The county segments of North Indian Canyon Drive are currently open. However, the segment of North Indian Canyon Drive between Mission Lakes Boulevard and Pierson Boulevard within the City of Desert Hot Springs remains closed due to the roadway washing out at Mission Creek. At this time, there is no anticipated reopening date for the roadway.
- Little Morongo Road: Little Morongo Road is currently closed between Dillon Road and 15th Avenue (shared roadway with the City of Desert Hot Springs) due to the roadway washing out at Mission Creek. The county is meeting with the City of Desert Hot Springs today to determine when the required repair work will start.
- Worsley Road: Worsley Road is currently closed south of North Indian Canyon Drive due to the roadway washing out at Mission Creek. Roadway repair work is scheduled to start this week. A timeframe for reopening has not been determined at this time.
- Mission Creek Road: Mission Creek Road is currently closed west of the City of Desert Hot Springs. A timeframe for reopening has not been determined at this time.
In the Whitewater area:
- Whitewater Canyon Road: Whitewater Canyon Road is currently closed north of Whitewater Cutoff. Roadway repair work is scheduled to start this week. A timeframe for reopening has not been determined at this time.
- Whitewater Cutoff Bridge: The Whitewater Cutoff Bridge is currently closed due to storm damage. A timeframe for reopening has not been determined at this time.
In the Thermal and Oasis communities, Harrison Street between Avenue 58 and Avenue 66 remains closed due to downed power lines. The roadway will be reopened once the Imperial Irrigation District has completed its repair work. A timeframe for reopening has not been determined at this time.
This information is fluid and the status (open/close) of a roadway may change several times throughout the day.
For the latest information on county road closures, visit the emergency closure Web page https://trans.rctlma.org/road-closures. City roadway closures are not listed, and any inquiries/questions related to city roadway closures should be directed to the appropriate city.
- Washed out road in Desert Hot Springs: Office of Supervisor Perez