Drone video shows major damage after chunk of iconic California highway washes into ocean

Ben Kesslen
·1 min read

New drone video shows the recent damage wrought on California's iconic Highway 1, where part of the road collapsed after heavy rains washed it into the ocean last week.

The video, released by the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, shows a large part of the highway still flooded and covered with debris from recent rainfall and mudslides.

At the point of collapse, about 45 miles south of Carmel in the Big Sur area, both lanes of the road are completely gone, with a massive hole sloping toward the Pacific Ocean in its place.

The sheriff's office video shows water running through the collapsed part of the road, which by Friday had fallen into the sea.

California has been plagued by extensive mudslides, largely in areas burned out during the previous season's wildfires. Mudslides often follow wildfires.

"The heavy rainfall is always a challenge, but when you've got the fires and the rainfall within a few months of each other, even a few years of each other, you generate a whole new category of risks," Stanford University environmental studies professor Chris Field previously told NBC News. Field helped author a 2012 U.N. report on climate change and disaster risk around the world.

Related: Climate change is making linked disasters more common across the U.S., scientists say.

Scientists say climate change is making the linked disasters only more common.

"Be aware that you cannot travel through Big Sur to Southern California. ... If you are coming from the south you cannot travel to Northern California," the sheriff's office said as emergency crews work to assess the damage, clear debris and figure out how to rebuild.