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Malibu coast residents fear possible flooding

January 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Residents along the Malibu coastline are bracing for dangerous waves and possible flooding from the storms.The rain is really coming down in Malibu. The coming storms are expected to have it all including rain, snow, wild winds and pounding surf. So far along the coast, there are no signs of problems, but residents are bracing for what's on the way.

"We're all pretty aware that it could be challenging here, so we'll see what happens," said Malibu resident Kenny Griswold. "It's going to certainly get us wet for a while, but let's just hope there's not much damage."

All along the coast, residents are bracing for what may be some of the biggest storms to hit Southern California since the El Nino floods of 1998.

At station 70 in Malibu, crews are on alert.

"We've been looking at these storms for about a week. We've augmented our staffing. Starting tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock, we'll have a swift-water unit here through our life guards and we're going to augment four extra patrols," said Capt. Paul Hartwell of L.A. County Fire.

In Oxnard, the Coast Guard is on the lookout for any trouble as off-shore gale force winds and ocean swells nearing 25 feet are expected with this first storm that's set to move in.

The west-facing beaches are the most at risk for a severe pounding. The Coast Guard will be keeping a very close eye on the conditions and are prepared to jump into action the moment they are needed.

The Oxnard area is especially notorious for the dangerous winds that can kick up in an instant. The conditions expected with this storm are supposed to be particularly dangerous.

"When the wind blows against the swell direction, that's when you'll get the real steep faces and that's when a lot of capsizing occurs," explained Bosenmate 2nd Class Jeff Wolf.

From the coast to customers out shopping, the wet weather has everyone running for cover.

"I'm concerned for the burn areas. I certainly don't want anybody to lose their homes and have problems with mudslides and things like that," said Steve Butler of Oxnard.