Incredibly heavy rainfall has knocked out part of a freeway in the US causing chaos for travellers.
An eastbound lane on the 10 Freeway between California and Arizona was forced to close after it was partially washed away by flash flooding due to heavy rainfall on the night of Wednesday, 24 August.
Some lanes were able to reopen hours later on Thursday, however, California Department of Transportation tweeted an update, warning: “One lane going I-10 EB has reopened. Detour lanes are what washed out, crews were able to reopen the other EB I-10 lane. To avoid delays, use alternate route, as only one lane is open.”
You can see footage of the scene here:
Sharon Leath, a California Highway Patrol dispatcher told the Los Angeles Times there had been reports of seven overturned tractors, with one person sustaining injuries. The extent of their injuries was not yet known, Leath added.
Earlier this month, a new study from climate change experts warned that California was at risk of a massive flood that could cause up to $1 trillion in damage, displace millions and completely submerge LA and Sacramento.
The study, from researchers at the University of California Los Angeles, said climate change was doubling the chances of a ‘megaflood’.
Daniel Swain, a UCLA climate scientist and co-author of the study, said: “In the future scenario, the storm sequence is bigger in almost every respect.
“There’s more rain overall, more intense rainfall on an hourly basis and stronger wind.”
The study suggested that some cities could be hit with more than 100 liquid-equivalent inches of rainfall, leaving between five and 10 million people displaced and cutting off freeways for weeks.
Update 1: WB I-10 lanes are open, traffic slow moving. EB I-10 lanes will remain closed until further notice due to washout. pic.twitter.com/5er80JCP2u— Caltrans District 8 (@Caltrans8) August 25, 2022
The researchers used weather modelling and existing climate models to compare two scenarios – one based on the historical climate of recent decades, and another in the projected climate of 2081 to 2100.
Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources, which helped fund the study, added: “Modelling extreme weather behaviour is crucial to helping all communities understand flood risk even during periods of drought like the one we’re experiencing right now.
“The department will use this report to identify the risks, seek resources, support the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, and help educate all Californians so we can understand the risk of flooding in our communities and be prepared.”
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