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LA Rain: PCH Shut Down, Flash Flood Warning Issued In Woolsey, Hill Fire Burn Zones

A mudslide has shut down Pacific Coast Highway in both directions from Busch Drive to the county line, according to Caltrans. (Courtesy Los Angeles County Fire Department)
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Updated on Dec. 6, 2:27 p.m.

Water droplets falling from the sky -- you may know them as rain -- are hitting Southern California. It has happened before. It will happen again. Or maybe it won't. Either way, since rain is so rare here, this is news.

The rain is expected to last through Thursday with the morning's showers evolving into a steady rain by the afternoon, according to the Weather Channel. Southern and central L.A. County are under a flood advisory through 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

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A flash flood warning has been issued for communities including Malibu, Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills in the burn zones of the Woolsey and Hill fires. The National Weather Service reported more than a third of an inch of rain had fallen in 30 minutes and said "limited debris flows" were reported on Pacific Coast Highway.

Caltrans reported PCH has been closed in both directions from Busch Drive to the county line. Encinal Canyon Road is also closed, according to the city of Malibu.

Just after 9:00 a.m., a Southwest flight rolled off the runway while landing at Burbank airport. There appear to be no immediate reports of injuries. The Burbank Fire Department responded.

You can check traffic conditions and road closures here, thanks to a handy-dandy map created by Caltrans.

Meanwhile, power is going out in various parts of the city. The Eastsider reports that some areas of Echo Park are without power. LADWP adds that Mid-City and Arlington Heights should have power back on after an outage, but outages in Panorama City and Venice appear to still be underway.

The department adds that outages can be expected to last for between eight and ten hours.

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In the Holy fire area, mandatory evacuations were issued at 12:26 p.m. for the Amorose, Alberhill, Glen Ivy A, Glen Ivy B, Glen Eden, Grace, Horsethief A, Laguna A, Matri, McVicker A, Rice and Withrow A zones. Visit for ongoing and updated information.

In Costa Mesa, street flooding appears to have flooded 17th Street and Pomona Avenue so badly that entire cars were submerged in water.

In addition to the danger posed by the water, though, you'll likely face some difficulties on the road in the form of other Southern Californians who are so gobsmacked by rain that they drive like complete morons the moment it happens, either by refusing to acknowledge the rain and driving like less of a jerk or by driving painfully slow until you're forced to swerve around them. We're not talking about you. We're talking about all those other drivers.

What can you do about it?

OPTION 1: Build a secret weather-controlling machine.

OPTION 2: Stay at home and don't go anywhere.

OPTION 3: Prepare your vehicle for rainy weather. Here's how:

  • Check your windshield wipers. If your wipers are streaking or skipping, it's time for a new set.
  • Spray your windshield with Rain-X. It's supposed to improve visibility when driving in the rain.
  • Check your brakes and tires. Bald or worn tires will slip more easily in wet weather. The penny (or quarter) trick could work for you, or it never hurts to take your car to a pro. Also, make sure your tires are inflated to recommended pressure.

"Everybody thinks they're a great driver," stunt driver Greg Tracy told Take Two. "With the years of teaching racing schools and car clinics and just being on the road, maybe it's actually one in 100 that are okay."

Tracy offers these tips:

  • Be especially cautious in the first 10 minutes after it starts raining, when oil that hasn't been washed away makes roads extra slick.
  • Slow down and avoid slamming on the brakes (which could make you hydroplane) or hitting the accelerator hard.
  • To avoid accidents, look 20 to 30 seconds ahead on the road.
  • Put down your phone!

Meanwhile, some businesses are trying to find the silver lining. The Semi-Tropic in Echo Park put a sign up letting patrons know that while they do not have power, they do have alcohol.

The storm has had another benefit: pushing up the year's rainfall totals. The metric that LAist uses to track precipitation shows that we've received about 8 percent of a full year's total across the region:

That means that we've gotten rain at a faster pace than the median year. (For this stuff, the 'water year' begins in October and goes through September.) On a typical December 6, we'd be around 16 percent.

But this year we've already gotten more than twenty percent:

And if you're late to work or any other event, take the advice of Milli Vanilli and blame it on the rain.


Thursday, Dec. 6, 7 a.m.: This article was updated with the latest information on the storm system.

Thursday, Dec. 6, 11:30 a.m.: This article was updated with information about an airplane rolling off the runway in Burbank, a link to an updated traffic map from CalTrans and updates on power outages throughout the city.

Thursday, Dec. 6, 12:10 p.m.: This article was updated with information about The Semi-Tropic in Echo Park.

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2:27 p.m.: This article was updated with information about mandatory evacuations in the Holy fire burn area and about street flooding in Costa Mesa.

This article was originally published at 7:05 a.m. Wednesday.

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