Mudslide prompts closure of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu

MALIBU, Calif. - Some lanes of the Pacific Coast Highway have been reopened in Malibu after a “large mudslide” flooded the roadway as heavy rain pounded the area during the Thursday morning commute, KTLA reported.

One lane in each direction of PCH was reopened as of 11 a.m., the Los Angeles County Fire Department said, several hours after mud and debris flows triggered the highway's full closure.

The much 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.

It was not immediately known when the entire stretch of coastal highway would reopen, but Caltrans crews were working diligently to clear the road.

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.

Showers are expected to linger throughout the day, with another round of rainfall slated to hit during the afternoon and evening hours.

Check back for updates on this developing story. 

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