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Big Mudslide Blocks U.S. 395 Near the State Line



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TOPAZ LAKE, Nev. — Crews were working Tuesday to reopen a major highway in the Sierra that was shut down by a huge mudslide at Topaz Lake near the Nevada-California state line.
The mudslide covered U.S. Highway 395 with 100 feet of debris as deep as 5 feet in some spots Monday night and forced the temporary evacuation of part of the Topaz Lodge casino.

“It was up to 5 feet deep. Our crews were out there all night.” — Nevada Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meg Ragonese
Dozens of vehicles were temporarily stranded in the lodge parking lot, but no injuries were reported.
Nevada and California highway officials say there’s no estimate for reopening the route in the area about 50 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe.

Heavy Rainfall on Monday Night

Up to an inch of rain fell in about an hour before the mudslide cascaded down the hillside on the western side of the highway at about 6:30 p.m. Monday.
“It was up to 5 feet deep. Our crews were out there all night,” Nevada Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said.
“Our first operation was to clear a path for emergency responders so they could get back and forth through the mudslide,” she said. “They’re finishing up the cleanup efforts but there’s no ETA for reopening the highway, particularly with the continued chance of thunderstorms.”
Southbound traffic was being rerouted at Holbrook Junction at Nevada State Highway 208. For northbound traffic, the closure begins just north of the California agricultural inspection station.
Five rooms at the Topaz Lodge suffered mud and water damage and as many as 200 people were evacuated to the second floor Monday night.

More Heavy Rain Forecast

Douglas County emergency crews were assessing the possible impact to homes and infrastructure near the lodge on Tuesday.
The region has been experiencing thunderstorms and heavy rain for several days, and rain remains in the forecast into Thursday, the National Weather Service said.
Updates on road conditions are available at, or by calling 511.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email