Winter Storm Updates, Preparedness Tips and Sandbag Locations in Malibu
UPDATE 12/23/2021 - The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts the current series of storms will continue to bring rain to Malibu all weekend, possibly into Tuesday, December 28. Heaviest rain expected 4:00 PM Thursday to 3:00 AM Friday. Maximum intensity of 0.36 in. per hour at 6:00 PM Thursday with a rain total of 3 in. on Thursday and Friday.
All traffic signals are operating and all lanes are open on roads, canyons and PCH in Malibu. Be cautious on the road - storm hazards could include hazardous driving conditions due to water, mud, rocks and debris in the roadway, and low visibility; possible power outages and traffic signal outages due to trees and branches falling onto power lines. Never approach or touch downed power lines - stay back, warn others and call 911. Under California law, always approach an intersection with a malfunctioning traffic signal as if it is an all-way stop sign - that means come to a complete stop.
City and County Public Works crews and Caltrans will be monitoring PCH and canyon roads in Malibu for hazards and using bladetrucks to keep the roadways free of rocks and debris, checking and clearing drainage culverts and storm drains, and pre-placing equipment.
Sandbags are available at Los Angeles County Fire Stations. Call stations to find out if filled sandbags and sand are available. To search for sandbag locations in LA County use the LA County Department of Public Works sandbag locator. Please do not remove sand from the beach to fill sandbags. Sand is crucial for beach habitats, and removing it from the beach is illegal in LA County. Plastic sandbags are prohibited in the City of Malibu (jute, burlap or other natural fiber bags are allowed).
The LA County Dept. of Public Health advises the public to avoid contact with ocean water near discharging rivers, creeks and storm drains within 72 hours of significant rainfall due to high levels of bacteria and pollution.
For more information, visit NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard and search for "90265" or "Malibu." To sign up for weather, beach or emergency alerts via text or email from the City of Malibu, visit the webpage, scroll down to "Alert Center," and choose the alerts you wish to receive. PLEASE NOTE - the City will send out "Utility Advisories" for power outages, "Weather Advisories" for weather information, and "Emergency Alerts" in case of an emergency that threatens lives and properties. All emergency information will be posted on the City website at www.MalibuCity.org and on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
Winter Storm Preparations
As part of its storm preparation plan, the City monitors storm conditions and crews use blade trucks to patrol and clear roads, storm drains and culverts to prevent flooding and keep the roads safe, and report any hazards to LA County Sheriff’s, Fire and Public Works Depts. Temporary concrete K-rails are placed to prevent flooding and heavy equipment is pre-placed at strategic areas. Sheriffs Volunteers On Patrol (VOP) assist with patrolling City streets and reporting issues. The City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Staff is on standby and the EOC will be activated if conditions warrant.
During storm events, flooding, mud and debris flows are a very real and dangerous threat to the communities affected by the Woolsey Fire. Due to an increased probability of mud and debris flows in these fire areas, it is important to plan and prepare. Prepare for lack of water, power and natural gas, non-functional traffic signals, and roads that may be impassable.
Due to potential storm-related power outages, it is possible that residents may not receive emergency alerts. Please monitor storm conditions on local AM and FM news radio (which will function on battery powered, solar, hand crank or car radios during power outages) and the National Weather Service at https://www.weather.gov/lox.
Stay away from flood control channels, catch basins, canyons and natural waterways, which are susceptible to flooding during periods of heavy rain. Check on your neighbors, particularly those who are elderly or live alone. People who live on gated properties should leave gates open to prevent mud and debris from locking them in, and to ensure access for emergency responders. Move trash cans and cars off the street to help prevent flooding. Never touch downed power lines - stay back, warn others and call 911.
Residents can pick up free, empty sandbags at Malibu area fire stations, but only some offer sand or filled bags. Call your local Fire Station to find out. Please note that Zuma Beach Lifeguard Headquarters does not have sand available for sandbags. Please do not remove sand from the beach, it is a violation of LA County Code. Please note that plastic sandbags are banned in the City of Malibu.
- Station 88, Malibu Road - (310) 456-2812
- Station 70, PCH & Carbon Canyon - (310) 456-2513
- Station 71, PCH & Zumirez - (310) 457-2578
- Station 99, PCH & Encinal Canyon Rd - (310) 457-3706
- Station 72, 1832 Decker Rd - (310) 457-6186
See a list of all sandbag locations.
See an instructional video on how to fill and place sandbags.
Based on mud, debris, and other hazards, roads throughout the burn areas are subject to intermittent closures due to mud and debris flow. Use extreme caution as you drive through these areas. Watch for slippery road conditions and follow posted warnings and speed signs.
On the roads, be cautious of emergency, utility and work crews and vehicles. Approach all intersections with malfunctioning traffic signals as if they are an all-way stop sign. Never drive into moving water. If you become isolated, seek the highest ground available and wait for help. If flooding traps you in your car, stay inside. If the water rises higher, wait on top of your car for assistance. Do not step into moving water around your car. If you see someone who has been swept into moving water, do not enter the water and attempt a rescue. Call 911 for emergency rescue personnel and, if possible, throw them a flotation device.
Know how to shut off utilities. Beware of water around electricity, including downed power lines, generators, electric appliances, and your home electrical system. There may be storm relate power outages. For current power outages, visit SCE outage center page.
Find out if you have flood insurance and what your existing policy covers. Call your insurance agent or contact the National Flood Insurance Program Call Center (NFIP) at 800-621-3362 for information about the NFIP or questions about an existing policy or visit the FEMA website.
LA County Storm Preparation Resource
See storm season emergency resources, including LA County’s Homeowners Guide to Flood, Debris and Erosion Control at the LA Rain website.
Weather Forecast and Alerts
National Weather Service LA/Oxnard.
City of Malibu current emergency, weather and traffic alerts.
Sign up for Malibu alerts (scroll to alert center).
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For continued information on road closures. (Enter an address to search for a specific location).
Los Angeles County Fire Department - Twitter @LACoFDPIO
Los Angeles County Sheriff Department - Twitter @LASDHQ
Los Angeles County Public Works - Twitter @LACoPublicWorks
City of Malibu - Twitter - @CityMalibu
City of Malibu - Facebook - @CityofMalibu