(August 21, 2023) Bishop, CA – The record amounts of rainfall in less than 12 hours the region experienced resulted in extreme flooding and mud flow into creeks, canals, and the Los Angeles Aqueduct (LAA). The high flows in creeks destroyed or damaged most of LADWP diversion and flow measurement structures between the towns of Big Pine and Olancha in Inyo County, and took out several highways and roads.
All agencies are actively doing assessments to inspect road and waterway damage and began repairs to infrastructure.
Personnel are now dealing with the aftermath of the unprecedented Tropical Storm Hilary on the heels of working diligently and effortlessly over the spring and summer months to manage the historic runoff. Due to mud and debris, the natural courses of several creeks were changed also causing damage to areas well outside their pathways.
Caltrans maintenance crews are actively working to reopen highways in Inyo and Kern counties. Caltrans is providing updates on all its road closures to its social media platforms.
Protecting communities and roadways is the number one safety priority. The County of Inyo’s Sheriff’s Offices and Ready Inyo urge all residents and visitors to the region to stay alert as flows are high in most creeks and some areas are heavily impacted with debris and sediment.
Protect yourself by staying away from waterways. Also, follow these other safety tips, from the County of Inyo:
- Stay Informed: Listen to radio and television, including NOAA Weather Radio if possible, and check trusted internet and social media sources.
- Get to Higher Ground: If you live in a flood-prone area or are camping in a low-lying area, get to higher ground immediately.
- Obey Evacuation Orders: If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Lock your home when you leave and if you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.
- Practice Electrical Safety: Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping, or popping noises – get out!
- Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!
Ready Inyo: ready.inyocounty.us/pages/hurricane-hilary
For the latest information on road closures and other highway conditions, download the Quickmap app to your iOS or Android device or visit quickmap.dot.ca.gov. You can also call the Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).