Mudslides close portions of Pacific Coast Highway

- Multiple vehicles remained stuck in the mud on Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, where rain caused debris flows Saturday night and closed a section of the road.

Caltrans officials said PCH would remain closed in both directions from Las Posas Road in Ventura County to Encinal Canyon Road in Malibu until at least Monday or Tuesday.

Earlier today, the City of Malibu announced on its website that Encinal Canyon, in both directions, is now open and that city crews cleared mud and debris from the traffic lanes, and continue to work to remove all debris from the shoulders.

They also reported that the crossing at Rainsford Place and Bonsall Drive remains closed.

"City crews will be working through the day in the Malibu Park area to make the roads passable by clearing the debris off to the shoulders to be removed and hauled away at a later time," according to the website.

Two vehicles were trapped in the mud at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday at PCH and Mulholland Highway, just outside the Malibu city limits, the CHP reported.

At 7:06 p.m. Saturday the CHP reported vehicles were stuck in a mixture of water, mud and rocks on PCH north of Tonga Street, 2-3 miles north of the Los Angeles County line.

The roadway havoc was part of the first winter storm of 2019, which moved into the Southland Saturday night before clearing up Sunday. Public safety experts have been concerned that the forecasted half-inch to inch of rainfall across the Southern California coast and valleys -- and more than double that amount in higher elevations -- would increase the risk of flooding and mudslides on mountain slopes recently scorched by wildfires.

Residents in areas recently burned by wildfires -- where the soil does not absorb a lot of moisture and can be prone to hazardous mudflows that carry dirt, rocks and larger debris -- need to be prepared, experts warned.

More rain was in the forecast for early Monday.

Weather forecasts and warnings will not be interrupted by the ongoing federal government shutdown, NWS officials said. Updates will be provided on the agency's website and social media feeds. Los Angeles County residents also can find out more about storm preparation and safety tips at

www.lacounty.gov/larain.

CNS contributed to this story

 

 

 

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