UPDATE: Some Roads Reopen Monday Morning Following Hilary

City News Service

COACHELLA (CNS) – Roads in the Coachella Valley began to reopen Monday after flooding caused by Tropical Storm Hilary forced multiple closures, including on Interstate 10 from Whitewater to Thousand Palms.

The Palm Springs Police Department reported at 7:50 a.m. Monday that South El Cielo Road and South Farrell Drive between East Ramon and Mesquite had reopened. Shortly before 10 a.m., outbound Highway 111 to westbound Interstate 10 also reopened, while Golf Club and Araby drives at the wash reopened after 10 a.m.

“The Palm Springs Dispatch Center is getting inundated with calls regarding traffic conditions,” Palm Springs police said around midday. “As conditions change they will be posted to our social media sites, please refer there for all conditions and do not call regarding road closures.”

Palm Springs city officials shared photos of Indian Canyon Drive, which was fully engulfed in mud at some sections.

Officials with the city of Desert Hot Springs initially reported at around 7:30 a.m. Monday that there was no way in or out of the city due to all the road closures in the area, but by 9:45 a.m., Palm Drive to Interstate 10, Indian Canyon Drive from Pierson Boulevard to Interstate 10 and westbound Interstate 10 reopened.

“Please avoid unnecessary travel and adhere to all road closure signs and detours,” Desert Hot Springs city officials said in a statement. “Our road crews are working tirelessly to reopen these routes as soon as it’s safe.”

Shortly before 3 p.m., state Route 62 in Morongo Valley reopened in both directions, with one lane being used to escort eastbound and westbound traffic through the area, according to California Highway Patrol officials, who added that delays should be expected in the area.

Indio police reported at 3:21 p.m. that most of the city’s roads reopened as crews worked non-stop to clear streets to make them safe for driving. It was unclear which roads reopened. Avenue 44 remained closed at the wash as it was completely washed out.

Mud inundated some streets in Cathedral City near Date Palm Drive, and video from the scene showed multiple vehicles trapped in the muck, including at least one recreational vehicle. The mud also pushed against multiple homes, but the extent of damage to those homes was unclear. One family told ABC7 they got stranded in the mud and spent much of the night on top of their swamped vehicle until crews were able to bring them to safety.

Interstate 10 was closed Monday morning from Haugen Lehman to Bob Hope Drive due to mudslides in the eastern Coachella Valley, according to CHP public information officer Jason Montez.

By 12:30 p.m., CHP Sgt. Fanco Castro said, the westbound Interstate 10 reopened, but only two lanes were open between Monterey Avenue and Bob Hope Drive while all four lanes were open west of there. He added that eastbound traffic was being diverted off the freeway at Date Palm Drive and east on Varner Road to re-enter the freeway at Monterey Avenue. There was no expected duration for the eastbound detour.

Due to the major road closures still in place throughout all Coachella Valley cities, the SunLine Transit Agency suspended its service indefinitely. It will continue to run life-sustaining service only, officials said.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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