Road access to Calif. town restored after 3 days

AP News
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Posted: Apr 06, 2011 5:40 PM
Road access to Calif. town restored after 3 days

Residents who were stranded by a landslide for three days can now get in and out of their town on the Klamath River in Northern California.

The Eureka Times-Standard reported Wednesday that crews had cleared one lane of the only road into Requa.

Dozens of people were trapped in the town when a mound of rocks, dirt and trees covered Requa Road on Saturday.

Del Norte County officials said the lane was available to emergency personnel, with residents allowed to pass every couple of hours for supplies. Officials warned the slide was still active and could block access again.

"The problem is if it slides again, we're back to square one," said Del Norte County Office of Emergency Services Manager Cindy Henderson. "It's a very active slide and, with rain projected, it's a little hairy up there right now."

The Del Norte County Sheriff's Office used boats to bring in food and other supplies and pick up at least one person who had medical problems.

Reweti Wiki, who owns the Historic Requa Inn, said he and his wife opened the inn for the travelers, baked cookies and served a candlelight dinner of prime rib that they feared would go bad after they lost power.

Over the next few days, the Requa Inn served as a community center, hosting a command post and serving hot meals to 20 or 30 stranded people, Wiki said.

"Neighbors have been really good to each other and everyone looked out for everyone," Wiki told the Times-Standard.

Del Norte County Roads Superintendent Jeff Daniels said he hopes to have two lanes of Requa Road open by week's end but rain could complicate those efforts.

"It's probably something we're going to be working on for the next several weeks," she said. "It's not going to be fixed overnight, that's for sure."

Farther south in rural Humboldt County, officials were closely monitoring a large landslide that caused a creek to flood

between Blocksburg and Alderpoint.

The flood threatened one home and prompted the closure of an elementary school Wednesday.

About 30 miles away, another massive landslide shut down Highway 101 near Garberville last week. Transportation officials have opened one lane in each direction of the highway.

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Information from: Times-Standard, http://www.times-standard.com