When boulders the size of cars suddenly appear on a highway, it’s natural to wonder where they came from.
That July 2022 image seems terrifying when viewed in retrospect. It shows motorists have been driving under what amounted to a ticking time bomb — a large slab of rock that stuck out over U.S. 82 like a balcony.
That balcony snapped off early Saturday, leading to a wall of boulders taller than vehicles slamming down on both traffic lanes.
No one was hurt.
The Cloudcroft Fire Department reports motorist John Duresky of High Rolls drove up to the rubble “while dust was still in the air,” and he’s the one who checked Google Maps.
“He found a historical photo showing exactly where the rock originated,” the department posted.
The time it fell has not been reported, but the state posted closure warnings at 9:11 a.m., noting traffic was being rerouted 13 miles from High Rolls to Alamogordo. The highway remained closed Monday, Jan. 30, with no firm reopening date.
“You don’t know how many times when it was raining I kept looking up. Knew it would happen some day,” Larinea Nolan wrote.
“That is a chunk of mountain slide, not so much a rock slide,” Daniel Delong wrote.
“People need to realize this can happen anytime,” Gaye Fox posted.
“Hand of God. A Saturday and high volume traffic, how did it NOT crush someone? Wow,” Sandra Chamness wrote..