UPDATE: I-80 is back open near the California/Nevada border after a mudslide Thursday.
RENO, Nev. - Traffic was backed up for miles along I-80 West Thursday evening. A mudslide near the California/Nevada border closed the highway for hours.
“We had a heavy downpour around 2:30 Thursday afternoon and a lot of loose debris on the side of the hill that couldn't take the moisture,” Officer Robert Boyack off the California Highway Patrol said. “It all came down and blocked the number two lane, bringing traffic to a halt. Luckily there were no traffic collisions.”
Traffic was diverted at exit one near Gold Ranch as CalTrans worked to clean up the mess.
“We had a lot of high standing water in the area, a lot of people pulling off to the side of the road that were having to get off and help,” Boyack said.
Many motorists were stranded in the Gold Ranch area for hours.
“I'm stuck in a parking lot,” Doug Gilbert of Sacramento said.
He was on his way back to California from North Dakota.
“I've been on the road for three days now,” Gilbert said. “But it's alright, it's better than going all the way around to Highway 50. We can tough it out.”
12-year-old Adam Boggesh of Temecula, California was eager to get back on the road.
“We're on our way to Truckee to go camping but there was a mudslide and now we're stuck in a parking lot for God knows how long,” Boggesh said.
As the hours drew on, those on a deadline were starting to grow a little anxious.
“I have to be in Davis by eight tomorrow morning to deliver this motor home,” Peter August of New Jersey said. “This always seems to happen when I come to California; it's either an earthquake or a snowstorm or something.”