Mudslides Close Canyon Roads in Woolsey Fire Burn Areas as Evacuation Orders Are Lifted

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The third in a series of storms brought heavy rain to Southern California Thursday, with mandatory evacuations ordered and later lifted in Woolsey Fire burn areas.

Mandatory evacuations affecting about 300 homes were announced earlier in the day and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials said orders in the burn area had been lifted by about 4:20 p.m. Some areas are remaining closed due to ongoing risks left by the storm.

“The potential for falling rocks, mud and debris flow still exists and residents should maintain good situational awareness when reentering the area,” reads a department statement announcing evacuations were lifted.

The canyon roads have been hardest hit by the ongoing showers — leaving behind dangerous driving conditions, officials said.

“Many canyon and local roads will be slippery and all motorists are urged to drive slowly and cautiously,” reads the Sheriff’s Department statement. “Do not attempt to cross flooded areas and never enter moving water.”

Road closed signs were up early Thursday morning on South Topanga Canyon Boulevard at Pacific Coast Highway after mud and rock slides left debris on the roadway overnight.

Caltrans crews are working through the morning hours to clean up the road, which is closed to Grand View Drive. The stretch is expected to reopen around noon, though the Caltrans noted that could change.

Malibu Canyon Road is also closed from Piuma Road to Civic Center Way. A large boulder came crashing down the hillside overnight and struck a car as it was traveling on Malibu Canyon Road.

The driver was complaining of pain following the crash and taken to a hospital in unknown condition.

Geologists were planning to head out to the area Thursday to take a look at the hillsides.

Thursday’s storm is expected to bring between 2 and 5 inches of rain to the area, prompting officials to leave many mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders, which were issued two days ago, in place.

The following areas, which include about 300 homes, were previously under mandatory evacuation orders. Officials announced all those orders in the Woolsey Fire burn areas had been lifted by early evening.

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

Malibu schools will remain closed Thursday, according to the city’s website.

A flash flood watch had been issued until 1 p.m. for the Woolsey, Hill, South and Stone burn areas in Los Angeles and eastern Ventura counties, according to the National Weather Service.

Those watches were allowed to expire early, according to a Weather Service tweet just before 10 a.m.

The heavy downpours could still lead to debris flows and dangerous conditions for home owners and drivers, officials have said.

The rain is forecast to taper off Thursday with partly cloudy skies due to return on Friday.

KTLA’s Marissa Wenzke contributed to this report.

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