SoCal storm Leads to Road Closures

A storm moved into Southern California Saturday, bringing heavy rain and winds, shutting down roads and freeways, threatening mud and debris flows in recent burn areas and prompting a flash flood warning for part of Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Coastal and valley areas received more than 1 inch of rain per hour during peak rainfall, according to the National Weather Service.

In the recent Woolsey Fire burn area, officials issued mandatory evacuation orders for Seminole Springs Mobile Home Estates in Agoura Hills and Paseo Canyon Malibu West in Malibu. Evacuation centers were set up at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, Santa Monica High School, and Pepperdine University in Malibu.

The 5 Freeway was closed in both directions for a few hours Saturday at Sheldon Street in Sun Valley due to flooding. As of 4 p.m., the southbound I-5 was still closed at Sheldon, and the two right lanes of the northbound 170 Freeway were closed at Sherman Way.

Crews are using two water pumps at this location, but they are having trouble keeping up with the amount of rain fall front the storm. 

A section of Burbank Boulevard was closed for flooding at the 405 Freeway near Sepulveda Boulevard.

At around 1:30 p.m., the following roads were closed in the Malibu area: Kanan Road from Pacific Coast Highway to Triunfo Road; PCH from the Ventura County Line to Kanan Road; Malibu Canyon between Piuma Road and Malibu Crest; Lindero Canyon between Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Blackbird Road, Kanan Dume road between Cavalleri Road and the Ventura (101) Freeway, northbound Decker road, Rainsford Place, Cuthbert between Busch Drive and Harvester Road, Clover Heights at Harvester Road and Harvester Road between Clover Heights and Cuthbert Road and Philip Avenue.

The city of Burbank issued voluntary evacuation orders for residents of Country Club Drive above Via Montana, beginning at 5 a.m. Saturday and continuing through at least 4 p.m. By Saturday afternoon, Walnut Avenue east of Sunset Canyon, and Harvard Road east of Bel Aire Drive, were closed to all except residents.

The LA Department of Water and Power crews were working on restoring power in many areas of the city, including Hollywood, mid-Wilshire, Brentwood, San Pedro, Toluca Lake, Reseda and Studio City.

Los Angeles Fire Department officials reported the evacuation of two homes on Courtney Avenue in the Hollywood Hills due to mudflow, pending a new assessment by city inspectors. The homes previously were yellow tagged from a Jan. 17 mudslide.

Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia announced on its web site that the park was closed Saturday due to inclement weather. Disneyland announced that its main park in Anaheim would close at 10 p.m. instead of midnight.

A winter storm warning was in effect through early Sunday evening for the Los Angeles County mountains, excluding the Santa Monica Range.

The snow level was expected to be at 7,000 to 7,500 feet through Saturday morning and drop to around 6,000 feet by evening, to between 5,000 and 5,500 feet Sunday, according to an NWS statement.

Significant wind impacts are possible for Interstate 5 near the Grapevine, where very strong gusts of 70 to 80 mph will be possible.

The bad weather was blamed for two vehicle accidents on the northbound 5 Freeway at Pyramid Lake, near the L.A. County/Kern County line, which sent nine people to the hospital and claimed the life of a search-and-rescue team member with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department .


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