Southern California

Mudslide Closes PCH in Ventura County, More Rain, Thunder in Forecast

CORRECTION: This article incorrectly described where and when Sunday’s closure took place, along with the location of the stretch of PCH reopened Friday.

A mudslide shut down both lanes of Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County for at least a day, officials said.

Rocks and other debris covered the road near Point Mugu about 4:30 a.m. Sunday -- part of the same nine-mile stretch of road that was closed by another mudslide in November, Caltrans and California Highway Patrol officials said.

Crews were cleaning up the mud, but it was expected to remain closed into Monday morning, according to Caltrans.

"Weather is going to play a factor. Obviously, we don’t want people driving through the mud and slush here," Caltrans spokesperson Patrick Chandler said.

Although crews cleared the aftermath of the mudslide by Sunday evening, rainfall near the area prevented Caltrans' scheduled road reopening.

The rainfall, combined with a flash flood warning in effect for Ventura County, prevented the reopening. Caltrans crews planned to monitor the area throughout the night.

It was the only damage reported so far from a winter storm that moved into Southern California on Friday. It had some weather-worn and burn-area communities vulnerable to dangerous mudslides hunkered down, but besides PCH, no other major damage was immediately reported.

More rain and snow was in the forecast Sunday as a cold storm stays in Southern California through Monday. It brings the possibility of isolated thunderstorms but, for most areas, just scattered rain showers, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to a foot of snow is possible at high elevations in Southern California mountains on Sunday, and thunderstorms, thundersnow and hail storms are possible, the NWS warned.

PCH is closed from Calleguas Creek Road to Deer Creek Road, according to a Caltrans spokewsoman. A stretch south of this stretch of PCH had only completely reopened to the public Friday, following repairs from another mudslide caused by a storm in late November.

Caltrans crews were cleaning the road Sunday morning, and a Caltrans officer estimated it would reopen Monday morning, depending on rain.

Storm cells massed over the inland mountains of Southern California on Saturday, briefly drenching communities like Montecito and Camarillo Springs overnight, according to the NWS, which reported thunderstorms as well.

A flash flood warning was put in place early Sunday for a burn area in Camarillo Springs that was hit by a mudslide in a storm in late fall, but it was cancelled after less than an hour.

But in Glendora Sunday, sandbags and barriers remained in place after stop-and-go rain, in case a brief downpour spurs a mudslide.

Some areas received precipitation over half an inch through 4 a.m. on Sunday, according to the NWS, including Northridge, the Oxnard Civic Center and San Gabriel Dam.

Downtown Los Angeles only felt about 0.1 inches, while rain missed other areas, including Los Angeles International Airport and Long Beach Airport.

Higher up in the mountains, the precipitation turned to snow, and while drivers had to put tire chains on their cars, many still took to the snowy slopes for skiing and snowboarding.

The snow means big business for resorts like Big Bear Mountain Resort, which general manager Brent Tregaskis said already had a big base of man-made snow.

"We'll be fine all the way through Easter weekend," Tregaskis said.

City News Service and NBC4's Jane Yamamoto contributed to this report.

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