Kern River Valley mostly isolated in wake of record storm

Kern River Valley mostly isolated in wake of record storm

LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. -- Days of relentless rain have pounded the Kern River Valley, leaving the area soaked and mostly isolated by Tuesday morning. The storm pushed in Friday, and rain didn't let up until Monday night.

By Tuesday morning, Caltrans was reporting that Highway 178 would be closed through the canyon for at least a week. Rock slides shut down the roadway Sunday. A Caltrans spokesman in Fresno said crews have to blast apart the big boulders on the road, repair damage, and then also make sure the slopes above the highway are stable.

Raw video: Rain-caused rock slide closes Hwy. 178 >>

That's the main link from Bakersfield to the Kern River Valley, and other routes were also closed or restricted. 

Highway 155 from Glennville to Wofford Heights was closed for a while, but by Tuesday it was open to vehicles with snow chains or four-wheel-drive.

Caliente-Bodfish Road has a number of closed sections, according to information from the California Highway Patrol on Tuesday morning.

The route through the desert is long, but it's been the best bet. Drivers can get to Tehachapi on Highway 58, and then swing up Highway 14 near Mojave to pick up Highway 178 going west over Walker Pass. As of Tuesday morning there were no restrictions. Snow covered the hillsides at the top of the pass, but the road was clear.

Video, full story on Kern River Valley community site >>

Raw video: Rain-caused rock slide closes Hwy. 178