3 Homes Condemned Over Mudslide Damage; Crews Begin Street Repairs


Three Malibu-area homes were condemned and another was restricted to limited entry because of landslides and mudflows that followed the weekend's punishing rainfall.

The storm caused an estimated $1.9-million damage to storm drains, roads and other infrastructure, officials said, bringing the city's cost for storm damage this year to more than $4 million. Private property damage estimates were not available.

After the latest mudslides, two houses were condemned when they slipped about a foot off their foundations. The houses slid when 13 acres of mountain land on the west side of Rambla Pacifico dropped five feet, making a sharp break in the pavement.

One house in the 21000 block of Lamplighter Lane just off Rambla Pacifico was so destabilized that it looked like a house of cards about to collapse.

The other, in the 28000 block of Rambla Pacifico, suffered cracks and splits in its corners and along its concrete pad. Both houses are in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County.

Donna Guyovich, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, said that crews are working to keep Rambla Pacifico open for residents and are repairing a stressed water main that is likely to break. Families were evacuated Monday.

In Malibu, a house along Pena Creek above Pacific Coast Highway was condemned after it was destroyed by an onslaught of mud and rock.

A beachside home was also damaged, losing its driveway, and it remained supported only by beach pilings. City officials restricted it to limited entry.

The damage along Rambla Pacifico should have come as no surprise, said Guyovich, noting that the hillside moved after a storm in 1978, destroying several houses, and again in 1983, wiping out eight homes and destroying half a mile of Rambla Pacifico. That section of the road has never reopened.

On the east side of Rambla Pacifico, three acres of land above Hume Road dropped about two feet, closing the street.

Elsewhere in Malibu, Las Flores Mesa Road dropped three feet, leaving a gap 15 feet wide and 10 feet long in the private lane. The road is impassable, city officials said.

There were also slides at Latigo, Encinal, Coral and Tuna canyons. A two-foot sinkhole on Malibu Canyon Road is 14 feet wide, and will cost the city $100,000 to repair, officials said.

Work on the Malibu Lagoon Bridge was suspended for 24 hours during the weekend storm, but resumed this week when construction workers installed a drainage system and poured the concrete for the bridge's bottom deck. Landslide removal at Tuna Canyon along Pacific Coast Highway also began again Tuesday.

Malibu officials have scheduled a storm recovery meeting for the public on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Hughes Research Auditorium in Malibu with representatives of state and federal agencies in attendance.

City officials will also explain how residents can form assessment districts for funding storm repairs in their neighborhoods or flood control improvements.

Anyone suffering damages from the storm can register for federal and state assistance by calling (800) 462-9029. The hearing-impaired may call (800) 462-7585.

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