Washed-out highway
Washed-out portion of Interstate 10. Courtesy Caltrans

A portion of Interstate 10 was washed out due to inclement weather, leaving the eastbound side impassable early Thursday morning.

The stretch of freeway was flooded east of Corn Springs Road at approximately 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Jordan Girard.

“At the same time, the alternate route of state Route 177 was blocked by downed power lines, making it impassable also,” Girard added. “Currently, eastbound traffic on Interstate 10 is being diverted at state Route 86.

“Alternate routes include northbound Interstate 15 to Interstate 40.”

Caltrans is working to repair the damaged portion of Interstate 10 and it is unknown when the work will be completed. “Additionally, Southern California Edison is also working to clear state Route 177 of the downed power lines, also with an unknown time of completion,” Girard said.

The National Weather Service announced various flash flooding warnings for the area of the closure until Thursday evening, and flash flooding contributed to the large gaps of freeway that had washed away.

Flooding closed the eastbound freeway around 16 miles outside Desert Center in the early evening hours Wednesday but the westbound lanes remained open.

Sharon Leath, a dispatcher with California Highway Patrol told The Los Angeles Times there were seven overturned tractor-trailers reported on Interstate 10 with one person injured. An overturned big rig along the freeway contributed to the massive backup on Wednesday along Interstate 10, which temporarily left some motorists stranded, according to reports from the scene.

State Route 62 was closed in both directions from state Route 177 to Interstate 95 due to flooding at midnight. Caltrans recommended using Interstate 15 or Interstate 8 for those traveling to Arizona and eastbound.

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