Malibu bracing for heavy rain, wind, hazardous road and beach conditions

Surrounding parks announce period closures, and safety specialists caution residents and visitors to move slowly through canyons and PCH

Due to widespread heavy rain, heavy surf, and strong gusty wind across areas of Southern California, including Malibu, The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch and Beach Hazards across LA County. 

Leo Carrillo State Park also announced the closure of South Beach day use lot, campground, and vehicle access to the North Beach parking lot through at least Jan 31. Visitors can access the beach for day use only from shoulder parking along Pacific Coast Highway.

In Point Mugu State Park, the Thornhill Broome beach campgrounds are also closed until Jan 31.

Heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and totals of 2 to 4 inches in coastal and valley areas, and 4 to 8 inches in the foothills and mountains is expected. Local rainfall totals of 10 inches are possible. 

A Wind Advisory was in effect in much of southwest California. On Monday, Malibu experienced south winds 20 to 30 mph, and gusts up to 40 mph. 

A Beach Hazard for the Malibu coast is expected due to the current storm, bringing dangerous rip currents and elevated surf of 3 to 6 feet, beach erosion, flooding of low-lying areas, an increased risk of ocean drowning, waves potentially washing people off beaches, rocks and jetties, and capsizing of small boats nearshore. The highest surf is on the west-facing beaches.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) recommends avoiding contact with ocean within 72 hours of significant rainfall, especially near discharging creeks and storm drains, due to high levels of bacteria and pollutants from storm runoff.  

On Thursday, Jan. 5, Decker Canyon (State Route 23) was closed in both directions from State Route 1 (PCH) to Decker School Road, due to a rock slide. Caltrans was on the scene clearing the rocks and boulders. 

“Motorists should be prepared for rocks, mud, and water in the road, slow moving traffic, workers and work vehicles, and period closures to clear the road clear through Malibu Canyon during the rain,” the City of Malibu posted on social media. “Keep headlights on and drive slowly and cautiously! Monitor weather and road conditions on local news, and check Caltrans Quickmaps for road closures and hazards before heading out on the roads.”

Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation encouraged outdoor enthusiasts to postpone any outdoor hiking or camping at this time.

“Trials and parks may close without warning due to hazardous conditions,” MRCA said. “Consider postponing any non-essential hikes during storm events.”

“Due to widespread rain and flood conditions, the following parking lots are currently closed: Paramount Ranch, Rocky Oaks, Cheeseboro, Franklin, Canyon, and Zuma Canyon,” Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation said. “We anticipate reopening these areas whenever conditions allow.”

To view updates on parks, campground closures, and conditions, visit nps.gov

The City of Malibu (malibucity.org) provided a list of resources for residents, such as storm updates and where to pick up sandbags.

Sandbags are available at Los Angeles County Fire Stations. Call stations to find out if filled sandbags and sand are available: Station 88, Malibu Road – (310) 456-2812, Station 70, PCH & Carbon Canyon – (310) 456-2513, Station 71, PCH & Zumirez – (310) 457-2578, Station 99, PCH & Encinal Canyon Rd – (310) 457-3706, Station 72, 1832 Decker Rd – (310) 457-6186. Search for which locations in LA County have sand, sandbags and filled sandbags on the LA County Department of Public Works website

Monitor weather and emergency information on local news, and sign up for weather, beach or emergency alerts via text or email from the City of Malibu at www.malibucity.org/news, scroll down to “Alert Center.” PLEASE NOTE – the city will send out “Utility Advisories” for power outages, “Weather Advisories” for weather information, and “Emergency Alerts” in case of an emergency that threatens lives and properties. All current city alerts are posted on malibucity.org. All emergency information will be posted on the city website and on social media: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

City and county Public Works crews and Caltrans are monitoring PCH and canyon roads in Malibu for hazards, using blade trucks to keep the roadways clear, checking and clearing drainage culverts and storm drains, and pre-placing equipment.

Most recent article below: Wed, Jan. 11.

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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