Heavy rain expected, flood watch issued

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SATURDAY 4:45 P.M. UPDATE

A strong rainstorm is expected to hit the Malibu area tonight and last through tomorrow evening, with the National Weather Service predicting up to four inches of rain. A flash flood watch has been issued, and residents are urged to prepare for possible flooding as well as mud and debris flow. There is a special concern for areas affected by last year’s fires.

The best method for property protection is the placement of sandbags around the home. Free sandbags are available at the local fire stations. The maximum allowed per household is 25. The station locations are:

Fire Station No. 70 – 3970 Carbon Canyon Road, 310.317.1802

Fire Station No. 71 – 28722 Pacific Coast Highway, 310.457.2578

Fire Station No. 88 – 23720 Malibu Road, 310.456.2812

Fire Station No. 99 – 32550 Pacific Coast Highway, 310.457.3706

A guide on how to properly place the sandbags and other information on property protection can be found on Los Angeles County’s Web site at http://dpw.lacounty.gov/wmd/HomeOwners/.

Twenty-five to 35 mph winds are also predicted. A strong wind advisory will be in effect from 6 p.m. through 9 a.m. tomorrow.

“With nearly saturated ground over much of the region, these winds may be strong enough to knock down trees with shallow root systems,” states a message on the National Weather Service Web site. Motorists are also urged to use caution.

Because of the powerful winds, the surf is expected to be as high as eight feet through tomorrow. Dangerous rip currents are expected to develop.

The National Weather Service states on its Web site, “All persons should be aware of the risks associated with water-related activities and use extreme caution when entering the ocean. When in doubt, just stay out. When visiting the shoreline, never turn your back on the ocean.”