Dec 07, 2018

Winter Storm Brings Mudslides to Southern California

The area, recently devastated by wildfires, faced mudslides

Mudslides, storm water and erosion threaten Southern California following wildfires

On Dec. 6, Southern California faced a winter storm that brought several inches of snow and rain, as well as mudslides forcing mandatory evacuations in recent burn zones. The wildfires that devastated the state over the summer and into the fall have left behind soil that can absorb a lot of moisture, making the areas ideal for mudslides and landslides during rain events.

Mudslides occurred in Malibu, Calif., and shut down the Pacific Coast Highway and surrounding roads, as reported by TIME. While no injuries or damage to homes were reported, at least one vehicle was stuck in a thick layer of mud as crews worked to repair the road.

Los Angeles received 2.09 in. of rain over a 24 hour period, and since midnight on Dec. 6 at least 1.9 in. of rain fell, setting a new rainfall record for the day since 1997. According to The Los Angeles Times, Riverside and Orange counties faced mandatory evacuation orders for areas impacted by the summer’s Holy fire. The National Weather Service issued flood advisory warnings for areas of Los Angeles County devastated by the recent Woolsey fire.

Meanwhile, at the Hollywood Burbank Airport, a Southwest Airlines plane from Oakland skidded off a wet runway as it landed due to storm water. While the plane came to a stop in a graded area designed to slow aircrafts that overshoot the runway, no one was injured.

“We just don’t know the stability of our hills anymore,” said Lake Elsinore, Calif., Mayor Natasha Johnson to ABC News. “The fire did its devastation.. The hills behind us that are not a concern could become a concern very quickly.”