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The original item was published from 1/31/2019 10:53:00 AM to 1/31/2019 10:54:24 AM.

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Posted on: January 31, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Series of Storms Thurs-Mon, Jan 31-Feb 4. Prepare for Potential Mud & Debris Flows

Winter Storm Warning

UPDATE - 10:45 AM, THURSDAY 1/31

  • Caltrans has closed all lanes of PCH in both directions between Las Posas Rd in Ventura County and Broad Beach Rd in Malibu due to mudslides and flooding. Hard closures (no entry) are northbound PCH at Yerba Buena Rd and southbound PCH at Las Posas Rd, both in Ventura County. Residents with ID will be permitted past the soft closure on northbound PCH at Broad Beach Rd.


  • Los Angeles County Lifeguards have closed Zuma Beach due to lightning. Other beaches are being monitored and may be closed depending on storm activity and direction. Residents and visitors are urged to stay away from all beaches until the series of storms forecast for Thursday through Monday have passed through Malibu.
  • The National Weather Service (NWS) in Los Angeles/Oxnard has issued a flash flood watch until 3:00 PM Thursday afternoon for a portion of Southwest California, including the Woolsey, Hill, South, and Stone Fire burn areas in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Heavy rain associated with thunderstorm activity has been observed across portions of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties early this morning. This activity will move over the Woolsey, Hill, South and Stone Fire areas later this morning into the early afternoon hours.  

The National Weather Service (NWS) advises that a series of Pacific storms will move through Southwest California on Thursday through Monday, January 31 through February 4. Peak rainfall is forecast for late night Friday and Saturday morning, along with high surf through the weekend. The series of storms is expected to bring up to 5” total.

A high surf advisory is in effect, bringing possible strong winds, rip currents, beach erosion and storm and fire debris in coastal waters.

See the NWS detailed storm forecast at

Attention Malibu Park Neighborhood and Surrounding Properties: 
Due to the amount of localized mud and debris flows that have occurred during the December and January storms, privately owned, manmade drainage channels, creeks, and other stormwater systems may have been impacted. These systems typically require yearly maintenance and clearance of mud and debris by property owners. It is critical for property owners to maintain stormwater drainage to minimize negative impacts to the surrounding community. Please reach out to your neighbors to make sure private stormwater systems are cleared before, during, and after storms.

Storm #1 Thursday (Jan 31):

  • Storm totals generally .50” to 1” for LA County
  • Peak rainfall rates .2” to 0.5” per hour, with a slight chance of thundershowers

Storm #2 - Saturday (Feb 2): 

  • Higher rainfall amounts likely, with storm totals of 1.5” to 3” and locally 4” foothills/mountains
  • Peak rainfall rates of .75” per hour or higher possible
  • Gusty winds up to 35 to 50 mph Friday afternoon through early Saturday

Storm #3 - Sunday into Monday (Feb 3-4):

  • Much less moisture and lower rainfall rates
  • Storm totals likely to be under 0.25”, with scattered showers possible through Monday afternoon

High Surf - Saturday into Sunday (Feb 2-3):

  • Highest on west to northwest facing beaches


  • Main impacts expected to occur during the Friday-Saturday storm
  • Shallow mud and debris flows possible for the Woolsey Fire burn area
  • Mudslides and rockslides, especially on PCH and canyon roads
  • Roadway flooding
  • Downed tree limbs
  • Hazardous conditions on beaches and coastal waters


  • See detailed maps of the areas in Malibu that are at risk for post-fire flooding, mudslides and debris flows on the City's Flood Vulnerability Maps page -
  • As part of its storm preparation plan, the City monitors storm conditions, and crews are patrolling and clearing roads of rocks and debris, clearing storm drains and culverts to prevent flooding, placing temporarily concrete k-rails as needed to prevent flooding and debris flows, and has heavy equipment staged at areas sensitive to flooding and debris flows. Sheriff’s Volunteers on Patrol (VOP) will assist with patrolling City streets and reporting issues.
  • During storm events, flooding, mud and debris flows are a very real and dangerous threat, especially in the Woolsey Fire burn area. Prepare, water or gas outages, non-functional traffic signals, hazardous driving conditions and roads that may be impassable.
  • Prepare for possible evacuations. Evacuation orders should not be taken lightly and are ordered because there is a threat to life and property.
  • People with mobility issues or large animals, should consider evacuating early.
  • Due to potential storm-related power outages, it is possible that residents may not receive emergency alerts. Please monitor storm conditions on local news and the National Weather Service at If heavy rain persists, do not wait for evacuation orders - leave early.


National Weather Service Storm Information and Forecasts: 

View Post-Fire Flood Risk & Vulnerability Maps:             

More storm preparation information:            

LA County Storm Preparation Resource:
Visit for storm season emergency resources, including LA County’s Homeowners Guide to Flood, Debris and Erosion Control.

Residents can pick up free, empty sandbags at Malibu area fire stations. 

Station #70 - 3970 Carbon Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
Station #71 - 28722 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Station #88 - 23720 Malibu Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
Station #99 - 32550 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Zuma Beach Lifeguard Headquarters - pre-filled sandbags available

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 trashcans and cars off the street to help prevent flooding.  

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.

Social Media
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

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