California Storm Shuts PCH in Malibu and Triggers Mudslide Fears

A pick up truck makes it way through flooded streets of Panorama City section of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles . Flash flood warnings were issued for vast swaths of Southern California and forecasters said the system will bring several inches of rain at lower elevations and heavy snow in the mountains. (Credit: Richard Vogel/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Richard Vogel/AP/REX/Shutterstock

A powerful storm roared through Southern California Saturday, flooding streets and prompting authorities to shut down parts of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

Heavy rains caused mud to pour onto PCH, leaving the road a muddy mess. The California Department of Transportation posted a message on Twitter Saturday afternoon, urging motorists to “avoid PCH until these storms have passed.”

The 101 Freeway near Milpas Street in the Santa Barbara area, and a portion of the 5 Freeway in Sun Valley were also closed because of the storm. (details from Caltrans below)

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued a mandatory evacuation order for Paseo Canyon in the Malibu West neighborhood due to debris flow, and urged residents to “stay vigilant.”

A statement posted on the City of Malibu website said: “The American Red Cross is setting up shelters at Pepperdine University and Santa Monica High School.” A third evacuation center was opened to residents at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center located at 27040 Malibu Hills Rd in Calabasas.

KNX 1070 reporter Pete Demetriou posted video on Twitter of PCH in Ventura County that showed bulldozers trying to remove mud from the road.

“Pacific Coast Highway closed between Broad Beach and Las Posas Rd in Ventura Cnty. At 1/2 dozen points on road heavy rain sent mud flows up to 2 feet deep across all lanes of highway. Caltrans hoping to clear all flows by nightfall,” Demetriou tweeted at 3:39 p.m. PT.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning in the area “due to excessive water runoff” and mud near the Woolsey Fire burn areas. Parts of Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas and Simi Valley were all impacted.

This is the second major storm to hit the area in a matter of days.

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