Landslide Closes Highway in Big Sur, California


Melanie Kibler

UNITED STATES – On May 21st, a huge landslide caused a popular highway in California to be closed.  This highway was a scenic route that many tourists would go and drive on to get a beautiful view of the ocean.

On Saturday, more than 1 million tons of rock and dirt fell onto the highway in an area of about a quarter of a mile (Mele, The New York Times, 2017).  Luckily no one was driving there during that time, so no one was hurt.

The area where the landslide happened had already been closed since January because of other landslides caused by the heavy winter and spring rains.  While the authorities have been able to clear the other landslides they’re not quite sure they can clear this one  Even if they can, they’re not sure that there will still be a road afterwards.

The California Department of Transportation has estimated that, starting from January, the weather related damages in California have cost more than $1 billion (CNN, 2017).  This estimate did not even include the landslide in Big Sur.

Not only have tourists been affected by this landslide, the residents and businesses in the town have too.  Most of the town makes it’s money from tourists and with their big tourist season starting up in July, they just hope that the road will be clear before then (CNN, 2017).

Junior Jessie Schuneman, tells what his opinion is on the matter.

“If it’s been happening a lot I think that people should just leave it alone, because it’s eventually going to happen again and again, and the result is just going to be the same.”  

Freshman Kathleen Krieger disagrees with what Jessie believes.

“The town needs to all pitch in and try to figure this situation out, or else they are going to lose a lot of money.”

Whether the town decides to clean it up or give up, they are going to lose money.