Several feet of flood water submerged Highway 70 at McGowan Parkway from Saturday into Sunday in Olivehurst. Dozens of road workers spent Sunday repairing the drainage system.
Highway 70 has a pump system and underground water retention area, but Caltrans said the rain was too much for the system to handle.
According to Caltrans, there's a natural dip where water can pool on Highway 70 at the Highway 65 interchange. Too much rain and not enough room in the retainment area caused six to eight feet of flood water to gather in the middle of the highway.
"Last night the rain we had over taxed it, and we got more water than we could pump, so it created the lake," said Stan Richins, Sutter Sierra Region manager with Caltrans.
Pumps were shut down Saturday after water starting spilling over the edge of the ditch. Cal Fire inmate crews spent Sunday filling sandbags to build the ditch back up.
As of Sunday night, Caltrans turned on all the pumps, which started slowly draining the water on the highway.
Richins said the highway is expected to be water free by 3am Monday. It will take a few hours to remove debris and the car from Saturday's fatal flooding accident, but Richins expected the highway to be open by 7 a.m. Monday.