Hwy 243 closed after portions of road swept away

BANNING — A large portion of Hwy 243 between Banning and Mountain Center has been closed indefinitely after sections of the two-lane mountain roadway were swept away earlier today, according to a CHP incident log for the San Gorgonio Pass area. The road closures are due to ongoing heavy rains and flooding that continue to pound the Riverside County area and surrounding regions.

LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:

Elsinore homes in danger of being swept away as rain & flooding continues

Multiple mud slides force SR-74 closure

CHP was first alerted to the potential problem around 10 p.m., and attempted to send one of their officers to check on “erosion levels” near Lake Fulmore and throughout the area, according to the CHP log. The officer soon reported being stuck behind a large rock and boulder slide and unable to get to the potential problem area.

By 10:15 a.m., CHP requested the immediate, emergency, hard closure for the highway; with one officer reporting “the road was “completely gone.”

Mountain bound vehicles were being turned back from Banning and fifteen minutes later, CHP called for the closure of northbound 243 traffic at Westley. However, those road closures continue to expand at an alarming rate; as rock, debris, and mud slides, wreak havoc throughout the area.

Earlier in the morning, SR-74 was closed due to rock and mud slides from Cranston Station to Mountain Center. That closure was quickly updated to include sections of the highway that pass through the Hurkey Creek area, heading into the Anza Valley.

In other, weather and flooding related news, emergency officials have reported that several Lake Elsinore homes are in immediate danger of being swept away in a rain swollen creek, and cities throughout Riverside County have been reporting heavy flooding as well.

When contacted for details, CHP dispatch reported that due to portions of the mountain roadway being completely swept away the Hwy 243 closure would be in effect until further notification, with no estimate when the highway could possibly be reopened.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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