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Malibu Prepares For Heavy Rain On Wildfire-Scorched Hillsides, Potential Storm Surge

MALIBU (CBSLA) — With a big rainmaker bearing down on Southern California, Malibu is bracing for both possible flooding and debris flows, and storm surge from the ocean.

malibu sand berms
(credit: CBS)

Malibu residents are preparing sandbags as they worriedly watch the hillsides. Wildfires have scorched the Santa Monica Mountains several years in a row, and there is concern the hillsides could give way to debris flows.

It was just a few years ago that a debris basin overflowed and created a muddy mess on Paseo Canyon Drive.

On Malibu's ocean flank, bulldozers were busy creating berms on Zuma Beach to protect public property from storm waves. The berms are usually built to be about 15 feet high to help protect lifeguard towers, bathrooms, and parking lots.

Even before the rainy season began, Malibu's infrastructure has been crumbling under powerful waves and rock slides. A portion of Westward Beach Road between Zuma Beach and Point Dume washed away in August, while a large rockslide appeared to undermine a cliff under a balcony last month.

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