Slide, After Slide, Rocks Overcome Excavator Clearing HWY 70 of Debris

Unstable conditions in the Feather River canyon continue to cause trouble in the re-opening of Highway 70. During efforts to clear the roadway to re-opened it to one-way traffic, an excavator removing debris from the slide got buried as a slide overcame the operator.

According to on-site contractors, the operator had time to swing the heavy machinery around and escape the brunt of the falling rocks. Unconfirmed reports say the operator suffered only minor scrapes and injury.

Last week, slides caused a train carrying grain to derail in the canyon, knocking seven cars and the engine off the tracks.

The stability of the rock face remains to be determined, as crews may need to consult geological experts. The 50-mile stretch of hwy 70 from the Greenville wye to Jarbo gap remains closed.