Rain is welcome after months of elevated wildfire risk, but this year it may bring the threat of mudslides to parts of Topanga Canyon scorched during a long season of minor fires.

The county is warning residents that flooding, mud and debris flows are a real and dangerous threat. Due to an increased probability of mud and debris flows in fire areas, it is important to plan and prepare. Prepare for lack of water, power, and natural gas, non-functioning traffic signals, and roads that may be impassable.

Due to potential storm-related power outages, it is possible that residents may not receive emergency alerts. Please monitor storm conditions on local AM and FM news radio (which will function on battery powered, solar, hand crank, or car radios during power outages) and the National Weather Service at https://www.weather.gov/lox

Stay away from flood control channels, catch basins, canyons, and natural waterways, which are susceptible to flooding during periods of heavy rain. Check on your neighbors, particularly those who are elderly or live alone. People who live on gated properties should leave gates open to prevent mud and debris from locking them in, and to ensure access for emergency responders. Move trash cans and cars off the street to help prevent flooding.  

Residents can pick up free, empty sandbags at Los Angeles County area fire stations, including:

Station #67 — 25801 Piuma Road, Calabasas

Station #68 — 24130 Calabasas Road, Calabasas

Station #69 — 401 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga

Station #70 — 3970 Carbon Canyon Rd, Malibu

Station #71 — 28722 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu

Station #88 — 23720 Malibu Rd, Malibu

Station #99 — 32550 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu

Zuma Beach Lifeguard Headquarters (bags, sand, and pre-filled sandbags are available 24/7 at the entrance to the Zuma Beach main parking lot, and at Zuma Beach Maintenance Yard). For more information, visit https://ready.lacounty.gov/rain/

Snow in the Santa Monicas? It was actually hail or graupel, but there was enough white stuff to transform parts of the coastal range into a winter wonderland, if only for a few minutes. Photo by Suzanne Guldimann