Latest storm hits Southland; expected to clear by afternoon

- An early morning storm drenched parts of Los Angeles County, but is expected to clear by this afternoon.
   
The storm reached the county shortly after midnight and could produce between a half-inch and an inch of rain, National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Rorke said.
 
No serious flooding, debris flows or mudslides are expected as a result of the system -- but they are not totally inconceivable.

The Woolsey fire zone in Ventura and Los Angeles counties will be the area of greatest concern, Rorke said, and the threat will increase if thunderstorms develop.

The greater risk could come next week, beginning Sunday, when a series of storms slide in "one after the other" through Thursday, possibly producing 2 to 4 inches of rain, Rorke said, indicating three weather systems may be involved.

"We're expecting 12 to 18 hours of dangerously heavy rain," he said. But with various models in conflict, it's not possible to say when or where that dangerous period will take place, Rorke said.

Los Angeles County officials are cautioning residents of recent burn areas such as the Woolsey, Creek and La Tuna fires to monitor local news outlets, avoid driving through moving or ponded water and report storm-related emergencies to (800) 675-HELP (4357).

County officials encouraged some residents to consider evacuating the area in advance of the storm.

"Peak rainfall rates may result in significant mud and debris flow, and we encourage Woolsey Fire survivors to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice," county Fire Chief Daryl Osby said, referring to the wildfire that ripped through the Malibu area. "Elderly residents, individuals who have medical conditions and residents who own large animals should make plans now to leave their homes as a precaution."

For additional resources on storm preparation visitlacounty.gov/LARain.

AREAS FOR POTENTIAL EVACUATIONS

The County of Los Angeles Fire, Sheriff’s and Public Works departments urge residents who live in communities along the following canyon roads to be ready to evacuate if needed (communities are listed in order from West to East):

Mulholland/Sycamore Canyon, Decker Canyon Road, Encinal Canyon Road, Trancas/Paseo Canyon, Kanan Dume Road, Latigo Canyon, Corral Canyon and Malibu Canyon.

Additionally, residents from the following neighborhoods should also be ready to evacuate:

Neighborhoods located south of Mulholland (listed in order from West to East):Decker School, Malibu West, Malibu Park/Bonsall, Ramirez Canyon, Zumirez, Ocean View/Escondido, El Nido, and Newell.

Neighborhoods located north of Mulholland (listed in order from West to East): Oak Forest Mobile Estates, Triunfo/Lobo Canyon, Seminole Springs, Malibou Lake and surrounding communities from Triunfo Creek to Cornell Road, and Old Agoura.

ROAD CLOSURES

Caltrans closed state Route 23 in both directions from Pacific Coast Highway to upper Mulholland Highway beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

The closure points will be staffed by the California Highway Patrol. Residents with identification will be permitted access if conditions are safe. During storms, Caltrans maintenance crews are on duty 24/7 in 12-hour shifts.

Crews have been and will continue to clear drains and inlets from debris in anticipation of the rain storms. 

Early Saturday, officials in the city of Malibu has announced that westbound Pacific Coast Highway at Morning View Drive has been re-opened after a brief closure due to mud and debris. In the Malibu Park area, Cuthbert Road, just west of Busch Drive, also re-opened. Cuthbert Road At Harvester Road, the
Clover Heights cul-de-sac and Bonsall Avenue Rainsford Avenue are still closed.

Clean up of mud and debris is under way, city officials said.

Pacific Coast Highway is closed in both directions between Morning View Drive and Guernsey Avenue due to debris flow, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Lost Hills Station. Drivers are urged to proceed with caution on all roads and beware of water, mud and rocks in the road.

Along the coast, a high surf advisory will be in effect from 2 a.m. today until noon Sunday in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Breaking waves of 7 to 10 feet are expected to occur, most likely on exposed west-facing beaches.

Portions of video used in this story are restricted to the Los Angeles area.

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