Trees, rocks and mud cover Highway 70 between Virgilia and Pine Aire in the Feather River Canyon early Tuesday, Feb. 7. A portion of the guardrail can be seen in this photo. Photos courtesy of the CHP

Rock slide closes canyon

Rocks and slides plagued many portions of the Feather River Canyon yesterday, but one caused a complete closure and trapped residents in Virgilia, Rush Creek and Belden.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, Caltrans closed Highway 70 due to a rockslide between Virgilia and Pine Aire. The canyon was closed to through traffic at the Greenville Wye and Jarbo Gap.

According to the California Highway Patrol, residents were allowed access, but those who live in Virgilia, Rush Creek and Belden were unable to reach their homes from the east.

The cause of the Feb. 7 slide in the Feather River Canyon lies just above the top of the hillside seen in this photo. A pool of water is rendering the hillside unstable and a Caltrans geologist was called to study the situation.

The hillside remained unstable and Caltrans requested a geologist to examine the situation. It was estimated that the canyon would remain closed at least through tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Residents are advised to check the Caltrans website for the latest highway information or call 800-427-7623.