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Atmospheric River Update for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu for February 19

Road Closures, Mudslides, and Heaviest Rainfall of This Storm Still on the Way

The City of Los Angeles intensified its emergency response efforts in the wake of the second storm this month, focusing on recovery from the early February storms. Activating the Emergency Operations Center to Level 2, the city ensures constant monitoring of impacts and streamlined coordination for the upcoming storm.

The National Weather Service forecasts the heaviest rainfall for late Tuesday into Tuesday night, urging Angelenos to register for NotifyLA for local alerts. The City’s Emergency Management Department will provide impact updates, with significant road closures and transportation impacts posted for public awareness.

In late-breaking news, at 5:51 p.m., the city of Malibu’s Facebook announced that one westbound lane of PCH is temporarily closed just east of Las Flores Canyon Road in Malibu due to a large boulder in the road. The social media account warns motorists to proceed with caution.

As of 4:00 PM on Monday, February 19, the City has reported the Sepulveda Basin (between Burbank and Havenhurst and Victory Boulevard and Woodley Avenue) is closed due to flooding. 

Mulholland Drive is closed between Skyline Drive and Bowmont Drive, with an additional soft closure on Mulholland Drive and Benedict Canyon Drive. 

Traffic officers have been deployed to support closures and direct drivers away from impacted areas. As recovery work continues, drivers are advised to avoid canyon roads, which may be subject to sudden and intermittent closures as city crews work on assessment and repairs.

People experiencing homelessness are especially vulnerable during weather emergencies, and the City, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), and other County agencies have mobilized shelter and transportation resources. The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Homelessness Solutions has worked to make more hotel vouchers available than previously planned to encourage unhoused Angelenos to come indoors ahead of the storm. 

LAHSA outreach workers began communicating about the storm and offering resources to the most vulnerable areas on Thursday, with a particular focus on areas of extreme flooding like the LA River and the Sepulveda Basin. 

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has reported that as of 5:00 PM. Monday, there are currently 1,431 customers experiencing power outages, primarily in Brentwood, Granada Hills, Manchester Square, and University Park and the DWP restored power to 5,763 customers.

A previously reported water main break in Hollywood that impacted 20 customers resumed normal service at 12:39 PM today with a cause deemed unrelated to the storm. Saturated soil and wind conditions during storms can increase the likelihood of downed or damaged wires. Never approach or touch any wire that is down or dangling.

The enhanced Level 2 activation involves around-the-clock staffing of the Emergency Operations Center by every necessary agency. Emergency crews stand prepared to address potential mud and debris flows, power outages, and road obstructions resulting from the new storm system.

In the past week, the city has been proactively engaged in repairing over 4,000 potholes, reinforcing hills prone to mudslides, and rectifying underground equipment and vaults to prevent power outages, a result of flooding during the previous storm.

The City’s preparation involves additional teams deployed by the Los Angeles Fire Department for swift-water rescue, community emergency response, urban search and rescue, tractor companies, helicopter pilots, command staff, and 9-1-1 dispatchers. As of 6:00 PM on Monday, the City reported 27 fallen trees and branches. 

311 will extend operating hours until 10:00 PM on Monday and provide public information updates about the storm. Los Angeles Public Library branches will operate under normal hours. The Bureau of Street Services and StreetsLA divisions stand ready for storm response.

In accordance with its Wet-Weather Preparedness and Operations Plan, Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment conducts pre-storm activities to address sewer system challenges. The L.A. Zoo ensures the safety of animals during adverse weather conditions.

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