River of mud oozes over Malibu
Jonathan T. Lovitt ; Jane Schmucker
LOS ANGELES - A torrential downpour Monday sent a river of mud pouring
through multimillion-dollar beachfront homes in Malibu, trapping dozens of
residents and closing the Pacific Coast Highway.
"You can see a number of houses that have mud coming through the Pacific
Coast Highway side, going completely through the house and dumping into the
ocean," sheriff's Sgt. Gary Thornton said.
Adding to the misery: 6-foot waves pounded the beach.
Rescuers using construction equipment went home to home scooping residents
from roofs and second-floor windows.
More rain is expected today in the area, stripped of vegetation by a firestorm last
The Malibu Colony, home to celebrities, was not affected.
"There was this huge bank of mud coming toward me," said Vera Smith, among
motorists who left cars on a 10-mile stretch of the highway closed by mud up to
3 feet deep.
Officials said at least 500 residents were unable to return to their homes Monday
During the morning commute, the rain caused at least 80 crashes on the
quake-crippled freeway system.
PHOTO,color,Jonathan Alcorn,Los Angeles Times