By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

A massive cliffside near 80 Acres Road south of Gold Beach and about 15 feet from the edge of southbound U.S. 101 slipped and fell away from the roadside during a rainstorm Thursday afternoon.

The highway is still passable, although one lane near mile marker 332 has been closed to allow Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) workers to assess the slide and work in the area, according to Curry County Emergency Coordinator Jeremy Dumire.

Video taken by Dumire depicts a massive pile of mud at the bottom of the canyon and water pouring from a culvert.

ODOT Information Officer Dan Latham said U.S. 101 has been inspected in the area and crews are working to divert water away from the slide.

“We are not concerned about the slide creeping into the lane at this point,” he said. “But one lane is closed to allow ODOT crews to stage equipment.”

Water issues

Curry County has been pummelled by rain in the past week, leading to rivers overflowing and flooding houses, trees falling, landslides and other weather-related events.

Gardner Ridge near Cate Road is closed after parts of the roadway fell down the cliff there, and sections of Langlois Mountain Road suffered extensive damage due to slippage.

Winchuck River Road was damaged as well, and drivers are urged to be cautious while driving.

Caltrans closed U.S. 199 in California earlier this week as crews worked to clear debris and mud from landslides.

Three people were taken to the hospital after their vehicles crashed into a hole left when U.S. 42 from Bandon to Coquille washed away, about 5 miles from U.S. 101. The highway will likely remain closed into next week. Damage was due to a culvert that was blocked, resulting in pooled water on the uphill side of the road, ODOT officials said.

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