RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Heavy precipitation sweeping through Riverside County Thursday caused flooding and other hazards on freeways and roads countywide.
Shortly after 6 a.m., a truck hauling fertilizer on De Luz Road just west of Temecula overturned on the rain-slicked two-lane corridor, spilling its load.
The driver was not injured.
The Riverside County Department of Transportation closed De Luz between Carancho Road and Terrano Drive because of the environmental hazard. A clean-up crew was summoned to the location, but because of the storm, the site was not expected to be cleared until nightfall, according to reports from the scene.
At about 9 a.m., a drainage pipe on the Pomona (60) Freeway at Van Buren Boulevard in Jurupa Valley became jammed, leading to major rainwater pools in several lanes on both the east- and westbound sides of the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.
A Caltrans crew was sent to repair the drain, but the CHP initiated multiple traffic breaks between Country Village Road and the Interstate 15/60 Freeway interchange while the water levels were reduced.
A Riverside County Fire Department crew reported the slow lane on the westbound side was impassable because of the volume of water that had collected. As of noon, the pools of water were still present, but lanes were in use.
Shortly after 11 a.m., one of the eastbound lanes of the 60 freeway flooded just east of Gilman Springs Road, in an area near Moreno Valley known as the Badlands, snarling traffic. The site is undergoing expansion and infrastructure upgrades, which added to the hazard, according to the CHP.
An emergency repair crew was sent to the location and was working to remove the standing water. At least one traffic accident was reported in the flood zone.
About noon, snowfall began in the San Gorgonio Pass, between Cabazon and Calimesa, creating difficult driving conditions on Interstate 10, according to Caltrans. Officials urged motorists to use extreme caution because the snow was sticking.
Snow was also accumulating along state Route 243 north of Mountain Center, through Idyllwild and Twin Pines, according to the CHP.
Officers requested snow plows near the juncture for state Routes 74 and 371 in the Anza Valley, east of Hemet. Accumulations were making the road nearly impassable for vehicles without snow chains, according to the CHP.