Southern California

May Storms Add to the Damage on Routes to Idyllwild Mountain Resort

State routes 74 and 243 were already in poor shape after winter storms

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.

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 roads were initially damaged by a Valentine's Day storm that dropped 8 inches of rain. Unusually strong storms struck again last week.

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

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