The storm that snapped 3rd Avenue in two is a distant memory, and the road is once again drivable, but it will be more than a year before officials can ensure the north-south artery won't be washed away once more.


When the torrential rains hit on Jan. 21, 2010, the drainage basin just west of 3rd Avenue -- part of the Hesperia's HO1 storm drain system intended to protect Main Street from flooding -- was overwhelmed and the water blasted through 3rd Avenue.


The water cut a canyon four feet deep, six football fields long and -- most importantly -- through a 278-foot section of 3rd Avenue.


City officials repaired the road earlier this year, but a permanent fix will have to wait on assistance from the federal government.


"As part of the storm, we applied for [Federal Emergency Management Agency] funds for the construction of the road," City Engineer John Leveillee said Monday. "We were fortunate enough to be rewarded... funds enough to make sure it wouldn't happen again in the future."


The road being washed away was a long time in coming, he said.


"Prior to this, the storm would wash over the road and, as it went to the other side of the road, it ate away the road" on the far side.


To prevent the road being washed away again, the city will install a drainpipe under the road to divert future overflow.


But federal funds come with strings attached, and before the city of Hesperia can get their hands on the approximately $1 million in FEMA funds, they'll have to conduct a study on the environmental impact the reconstruction and the pipe will have.


"That could take anywhere from 12 to 15 months."


In the interim, the city paid for its own more near-term repairs, as it backfilled and reconstructed 3rd Avenue.


"The improvements that we did were paid for with local funds while we go through the process of getting the permits and going through the environmental process."


Leveillee said the rebuilt road is holding up fine for now.


"We've made hardened improvements to the road and it's already gone through several storm events this winter and it held up just fine."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.