Remaining Cars Cleared from Highway 58 After Massive Mud Flow

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Highway 58 east of Tehachapi remained closed Monday as crews worked to clear mud and standing water after heavy rain in the Antelope Valley triggered a massive mudslide.

The last of some 200 cars that were abandoned on the highway Thursday afternoon were cleared about 1:30 a.m. Monday, said Caltrans spokeswoman Florene Trainor.

About 20 miles of the highway between State Routes 14 and 202 are closed to traffic, though only a fraction of that is damaged, Trainor said.

One big rig and about half a dozen cars were removed from the mud and debris covering a long stretch of the highway from Exit 165 to Cameron Canyon Road, Trainor said. Loaders and excavators are digging up the dirt covering the highway and carting it away to two different sites, she said.

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Caltrans tweeted a picture of a string of cars that had remained through the weekend. Crews were working Monday to drain standing water and remove the mud, Trainor said.

Roads around Lake Elizabeth that were closed due to the storm Thursday have since reopened, officials said.

[Cars abandoned after a mudslide]

A California Highway Patrol official said it could take until Thursday to reopened Highway 58.

Nearly 200 vehicles, including about three dozen tractor-trailers, were trapped by mudflows that reached five and six feet high in the huge rainstorm. No fatalities were reported.

The storm was called a 1,000-year event by meteorologists, and geologists have surveyed the surrounding mountains to make sure the soil on those slopes is stable.

This article originally appeared on the LA Times.

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