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Mayor Villaraigosa gets look at San Pedro fallen coastal bluff

November 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa got a first-hand look at the stretch of Paseo del Mar in San Pedro on Tuesday, which collapsed during this weekend's heavy rains.

More rain is expected on Thanksgiving, and Villaraigosa says they may have to close the nature preserve in the hillside behind the road to protect residents, since they don't know the cause or extent of the landslide.

Residents don't have access to the road or hillside above.

"I used to go in high school and chill out and watch the ocean and write poetry and go be a high schooler," said San Pedro resident Tim Ulrich. "So it's a little crazy, like piece of my childhood is in the ocean now."

San Pedro residents have been flocking to the bluff-side road for weeks now to catch a glimpse of an old favorite hangout spot and former thoroughfare.

But now it's a fenced off danger zone with chunks of Earth crumbling into the ocean below. And residents want answers.

Villaraigosa toured the area by helicopter on Tuesday. Then he and local Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) talked to residents about their concerns.

The city's answer- it's too soon to tell what caused the slide.

"I ask all of us not to speculate on what caused the landslide," said Villaraigosa. "Because the fact is if the city engineer and the experts don't know, neither do most of us."

Right now the mayor and congresswoman are waiting for a city-commissioned geological survey to determine the extent and cause of the landslide.

Both say they aren't afraid to ask the state or federal government for help.

"You just call and I know that I can convince Congress how important it is to preserve the safety and security of this area," said Hahn.

Politicians have talked about asking the governor to declare a state of emergency. But no homes or lives appear to be threatened at this point, so it does not seem to meet the emergency declaration criteria.

Even though officials said that there aren't immediate threats, an evacuation plan is in place in case the Earth is still moving.

See photos of the landslide in San Pedro.

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