Mud Flow Closes Mulholland Drive in Beverly Crest


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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A mud and debris flow prompted the evacuation of a hilltop home in the Beverly Crest area Tuesday and an order by the city to close Mulholland Drive to through traffic for at least 24 hours as a precaution.

The problem was reported at about 8:35 a.m. in the 13100 block of West Mulholland Drive, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

No injuries or physical entrapments were reported.

LAFD Capt. Erik Scott said one of several terraced retaining walls on a one-third-acre residential property gave way. He said a "portion of the backyard of a steeply terraced home gave way and slid approximately 50 feet downhill into a power pole and onto Mulholland Drive."

Despite a power pole being struck, no power was disrupted in the area, Scott said.

Fire crews and building inspectors evaluated four homes in the area, but only one was determined to be of immediate concern, Scott said.

"As a precaution, an elderly male resident and his caretaker were calmly evacuated from the premises and are temporarily staying with a neighbor," he said. "The home of concern was eventually yellow-tagged by the Department of Building and Safety, not allowing anybody into the backyard. However, the residents are now allowed back into their house."

The area has seen strong rainstorm activity in the past few days, but officials said the fire department could not determine the specific cause of the debris flow.

"Because the debris flow is threatening a power pole and mud remains on Mulholland Drive, that mountain top thoroughfare will remain fully closed between Coldwater Canyon Avenue on the east and Deep Canyon Drive on the west until L.A. City agencies can comprehensively assess and address the situation," officials said late Tuesday morning.

Early Tuesday afternoon, the city of Los Angeles' Emergency Management Department announced that the section of Mulholland was being ordered closed to through traffic "for 24 hours -- minimum -- until rains cease."

Scott noted that with more rain in the forecast, the road will remain blocked until the storm system passes.

He added that other homes below the area and Mulholland Drive "are several hundred feet down and are not threatened."

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