Heavy Rain Leads To Mandatory Evacuations In Malibu, Burbank, Ventura County

A portion of Pacific Coast Highway was closed on Monday due to mudflow on the roadway. (Courtesy Caltrans)

Residents in several Southern California communities, including parts of Malibu and Burbank, are under mandatory evacuation orders Tuesday as a storm system continues to douse the region. There's also a Flash Flood Watch in effect for the burn areas of recent wildfires.

All Malibu schools will be closed on Wednesday. Schools in Santa Monica will be open.

Parts of State Route 2 in Angeles National Forest are closed because of snow, and downpours are headed towards the South Bay this evening.


For ongoing updates throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, here are some sites to check:


In an L.A. County press conference at 2:30 p.m., various county officials offered updates on local conditions, and each one begged residents in evacuation zones to heed any warnings or evaucation orders.

Residents were encouraged to follow lacounty.gov/larain for updates, resgister at Alert LA County for notifications, and follow L.A. County on Facebook and Twitter for ongoing information about the storms.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said that it is "really important to take this [storm] seriously...the theat is real, the rain is getting more intense."

She added that there may be more mandatory evacuations over the next few days, and that it is critical for those in areas such as the Woolsey Fire burn area to be prepared. "When you get a knock on your door," she said, "it really means you must leave."

Supervisor Kathryn Barger said that sheriff's deputies were monitoring evacuated areas for looters, and encouraged residents to be prepared with food, water and gasoline.

Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Deputy Dave Richardson reminded people not to enter fast-moving water or try to save anyone who has been swept up into it. A representative from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department added that residents should seek high ground if they get caught in a flood, and reiterated the importance of not attempting to cross flooded areas.

Large animals can be evacuated to the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center and Pierce College. The L.A. County Fire Department posted information about small animal shelters for families whose pets may need somewhere to go.

Heavy rain is expected to continue in Los Angeles and Ventura counties today, which could drop up to 4 ½ inches in parts of the Santa Monica Mountains, according to the National Weather Service.

At 8 a.m., L.A. County officials issued mandatory evacuation orders for several areas in Malibu "at high risk for potential mud and debris flow":

  • Corral Canyon / El Nido
  • Escondido / Old Chimney
  • Escondido Drive / Latigo Canyon
  • Malibu West / Trancas Canyon
  • Malibou Lake
  • All of Ramirez Canyon Road and adjacent streets
  • Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park and restaurant

"Not all properties may be directly affected by mud and debris flow," county officials said. "However all roads in the area are subject to closure and residents may have limited access in and around the evacuated communities."

All Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District in Malibu are closed Tuesday, according to the city. The Red Cross Los Angeles Region has opened two shelters for residents affected by the storm.

Just after 11 a.m., Ventura County officials issued mandatory evacuation orders for several communities in the burn area of the Thomas and Woolsey fires.

  • The entire community of Bell Canyon
  • Oak Park (specific homes adjacent to the hillsides)
  • Unincorporated Thousand Oaks
  • Sage Mountain Senior Living Facility
  • South Coast of Ventura County/Community of Malibu
  • Matilija / Wheeler Springs / North fork (extending along Oso Road)
  • Residences east of Highway 33 / Casitas Springs (Vista Burn area)

Voluntary evacuations were also issued for parts of the city of Ventura, La Conchita and East Ojai. Further information about evacuation centers, road closures and more in Ventura County can be found here.

In Burbank, authorities announced mandatory evacuations for residents living off Country Club Drive above Via Montana, starting at noon Tuesday "until further notice." A list of voluntary evacuations can be found here. Sandbags are being offered for free to businesses and residents at the Public Works Yard, while supplies last.

Separately, authorities said there is "a potentially significant risk of flooding and mudflow" in areas that burned in the 2017 Creek Fire. Residents in Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon and Little Tujunga Canyon were urged to be ready to evacuate "at a moment's notice," though no order has yet been issued.

Even as the rain carries risks for burn zones and will almost certainly lead to more hazards and crashes on L.A. roads, the recent storm systems are key to improving drought conditions in Southern California. Last year, L.A. received just 32 percent of what's considered normal rainfall.

But thanks to all the activity so far this rain year, we're now slightly ahead of our median rate, as shown in the chart below.

UPDATES:

11:35 a.m.: This article was updated with information about evacuation orders in Burbank and Ventura County.

9:34 a.m.: This article was updated with information about Red Cross shelters and a chart tracking L.A. rainfall.

3:19 p.m.: This article was updated with information from the L.A. County press conference.

This article was originally published at 8:06 a.m.

Jessica P. Ogilvie contributed to this report.