The Pacific Coast Highway has reopened through Malibu after a “large mudslide” flooded the roadway as heavy rain pounded the area during the Thursday morning commute.
Sheriff's officials said the road fully reopened around 5 p.m. after crews finished clearing mud from the right southbound lane of the PCH in Leo Carrillo State Park.
However, motorists were still urged to drive slowly and exercise caution as crews were still working to clear debris along the highway.
Lanes had begun reopening as of 1 p.m., the California Department of Transportation said in a tweet, several hours after mud and debris flows triggered the highway's full closure.
The mud began sliding onto the highway near Leo Carrillo State Beach shortly before 7:30 a.m., blocking all northbound lanes and some southbound lanes, according to the California Highway Patrol incident log.
At least one vehicle appeared to be stuck in the mud-covered road, video from the scene showed.
A SigAlert was issued around 8:20 a.m., and all lanes of PCH were closed from Kanan Dume Road to the Ventura County line.
— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) December 6, 2018
The closure comes as the wet weather prompted the National Weather Service to extend the flash flood warning for the Woolsey Fire burn area, which extends into Malibu.
By 8:10 a.m., a third of an inch of rain had fallen in a 30-minute period in the Woolsey and Hill Fire burns area, forecasters reported.
A flash flood warning had been in effect at the time for both burn areas, but has since expired.
Nevertheless, amid fears the flash flooding could trigger further mud and debris flows, the weather service encouraged motorists to avoid driving in and below steep train while heavy rain fell.
The storm is expected to bring up to 2 inches of rain in the Los Angeles County foothill and mountain areas, according to the weather service.
About 1.9 inches fell in downtown L.A., breaking the date's previous record of 1.01 inches set in 1997.
Showers are expected to linger throughout the day, with another round of rainfall slated to hit during the afternoon and evening hours.
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) December 6, 2018