2 Highways to Idyllwild Further Damaged by Late-Season Storms; Roads May Not Reopen for Months

CHP San Gorgonio Pass shared this photo of State Route 243 at Saunders Meadow on Feb. 14, 2019.

CHP San Gorgonio Pass shared this photo of State Route 243 at Saunders Meadow on Feb. 14, 2019.

Two highways leading to the Southern California mountain resort of Idyllwild have been further damaged by late-season May storms even as they are still undergoing repairs following a powerful winter downpour.

The Press-Enterprise reports that Caltrans estimates it will be two more months before State Route 74 fully reopens, and there’s no projection for when an extensively damaged section of the 243 will reopen.

Perched high in the San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild and neighboring communities are popular retreats for visitors from Southern California’s metropolitan areas.

The 74 and 243 were initially badly damaged by a Valentine’s Day storm that dropped 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain. Unusually strong storms struck again last week.

Alternative routes to Idyllwild are long and circuitous, and merchants tell the newspaper that business is suffering.

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