Mudslide spills debris on Highway 163 in Hillcrest - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mudslide spills debris on Highway 163 in Hillcrest

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A city water official blamed a leak from the irrigation system at a Hillcrest recycling plant for a mudslide that spilled trees, mud and other debris onto Highway 163 just north of Balboa Park Saturday.

The mudslide blocked the freeway's Washington Street offramp and also the 10th Street/Robinson Avenue onramp onto northbound Highway 163, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Around 10:30 a.m., the CHP started receiving calls from motorists who reported that mud and other debris, including a 12-foot-long tree, were completely blocking the Washington Street offramp, a CHP dispatcher said.

Witnesses also reported that the nearby 10th Street/Robinson Avenue onramp to northbound state Route 163 was also blocked by a fallen tree.

Officials initially thought the mudslide was caused by a water main break, said San Diego water department spokesman Arian Collins. But further investigation revealed that the water came from a Hillcrest recycling plant, he said.

Officials shut down the 10th Street/Robinson Avenue onramp and the Washington offramp for nearly three hours while the debris was cleared.

All roadways were reopened and cleared by around 1:25 p.m., according to CHP dispatch.

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