Mud, Debris Flows Trigger Evacuations in Hollywood Hills West Area; 4 Homes Yellow-Tagged

Residents have been allowed to return home after being evacuated in the Hollywood Hills West area for several hours on Thursday following mud and debris flows beneath a house that is under construction, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Around 9:40 a.m., firefighters responded to a report of a possible debris flow near 1898 N. Stanley Ave., as well as mud apparently sliding down a hillside, LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan said.

“Since we have been on scene, we’ve noticed that we have some damage to the surrounding area," he explained. "So what we’re doing in the abundance of caution is to call out soil geologists to take a look, because these events are unpredictable.”

Hogan described some of the impacts, noting that one fence came down in the area of the debris and that a swimming pool had to be drained because a portion of it broke away.

The area primarily affected by the mud and debris flow is Stanley Avenue as well as the street above it, he said.

Officials were analyzing the movement of the soil as they sought to get a better grasp of the challenges they're facing.

Twenty-one homes were evacuated, but all residents were allowed to return to their homes.

By mid-afternoon, residents on the west side of Nichols Canyon Road were being allowed to return to their homes.

Five workers from the construction site were evacuated as well, an LAFD alert stated.

No injuries were reported and no one is trapped, officials said.

Four homes have been yellow-tagged, but the restricted access was limited only to the back yards, meaning those residents could also return home, according to LAFD. Two of the properties on Stanley Avenue, while the other two are on Courtney Terrace.

No structures have been red-tagged.

By 10:30 a.m., a department of building and safety team had arrived at the scene to assess the situation, which the Fire Department described as being "static."

"As the home under construction is anchored by what workers describe as 60' deep caissons secured in bedrock, there is presently minimal concern that the home under construction as a whole will slide down the hill," the alert read.

Firefighters have been strategically placed in areas above and below the affected area, Hogan said. More than 100 city personnel are working the incident.

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