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Drone video shows major damage after chunk of iconic California highway washes into ocean

New drone footage released by the Monterey County Sheriff’s office shows the recent damage wrought on California’s iconic Highway 1, where a portion of the road collapsed after heavy rains washed it into the ocean last week.

The footage shows a large portion of the highway still flooded and covered with debris from recent rainfall and mudslides.

At the point of collapse, about 45 miles south of Carmel in the Big Sur area, both lanes of the road are completely gone, with a massive hole sloping towards towards the Pacific Ocean in its place.

The sheriff’s office footage shows water still running through the collapsed portion of the road, which by Friday had fallen into the sea.

The collapse comes as California has seen extensive mudslides, largely in areas burnt out during the previous season’s wildfires. Mudslides often follow wildfires.

“The heavy rainfall is always a challenge, but when you’ve got the fires and the rainfall within a few months of each other, even a few years of each other, you generate a whole new category of risks,” Stanford University environmental studies professor Chris Field, who helped author a 2012 United Nations report on climate change and disaster risk around the world, previously told NBC News.

Scientists say climate change is making these linked disasters only more common.

“Be aware that you cannot travel through Big Sur to Southern California… If you are coming from the south you cannot travel to Northern California,” the sheriff’s office told residents, as emergency crews work to asses the damage, clear debris and figure out how to rebuild.

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