Thursday, February 7, 2019
State highway 154 is open in part but remains closed in the central area between Lake Cachuma and Paradise Road. Caltrans crews are digging down to a blocked culvert now believed to be 40 feet below the surface, hoping to examine the damage with cameras once the water is pumped out. The heavy weekend storms sent water, mud, rocks, and plant matter cascading through the culvert, which lies in the area scorched by 2017's Whittier Fire. After the culvert jammed up, the debris swamped the road, closing it on Sunday.
Businesses along the 154 remain open and can be reached from the south by going around on the 101 to the 246 at Buellton. Lake Cachuma's recreation center is also open, with a full RV campground for the three-day weekend, a Parks employee said, and snow visible on the mountain peaks.
Caltrans currently has no date for when the 154 culvert repairs will be completed.