Mudslide Closes Highway 50 Near Riverton

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A mudslide has US Highway 50 closed Wednesday in both directions over the Sierra Nevada.

Traffic is stopped from Sly Park to Meyers as crews survey the
damage from the slide.

The swath of water and mud about 50 feet wide spread onto the highway from an irrigation flume about a thousand feet above the road. The closure near the town of Riverton leaves Interstate 80 the main route over the mountains between Sacramento and Reno.

Authorities believe the landslide was triggered by a rupture in the irrigation canal.

The California Department of Water Resources postponed a scheduled snow-depth survey because the landslide prevented employees from reaching the site south of Lake Tahoe.

A storm dumped as much as nine feet of snow on the upper elevations of the Sierra over the past week, including about six feet in back-to-back storms Saturday through Monday.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)