Studio City mired in debris after heavy rain triggers mud flows, surrounding homes

About 17 people in five homes were asked to shelter in place because of the mudflow that rushed through Fredonia Drive.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Studio City mired in debris after heavy rain triggers mud flows
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In Studio City, cleanup on Fredonia Drive is underway after being inundated with water, mud and debris. The debris flow from the storm forced 17 residents to shelter in place.

STUDIO CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A powerful storm dumped heavy rain across Southern California overnight, which triggered debris flows in some neighborhoods and left people stuck inside their homes surrounded in mud.

In Studio City, up to four feet of mud and debris rushed in and covered Fredonia Drive down to Kentucky Drive, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Firefighters made contact with people inside several homes in the area, and a total of 17 people were sheltering in place Tuesday morning.

Two homes on Wrightwood Lane, near Bellfield Way, were impacted by the debris flow, but no serious damage was reported.

Officials say the mud cascaded down the storm-soaked hillsides above the neighborhood and flowed into the backyard of one home with about one foot of mud pressed against the back sliding door. The second home was surrounded in debris.

"I heard a big thunderous roar. My dogs went crazy," said Alvin Tate, who lives in the affected area.

Some people living in that neighborhood said they felt the earth shake when the mud flow unleashed a large amount of water, dirt and debris onto their neighborhood just after 11:30 p.m. Monday night.

"It's tragic and it's devastating, and the first thing that comes to your mind is 'I hope everyone is OK.' This can uproot a lot of people, not just physically, but emotionally," said Scott McPhail.

No injuries were reported. Officials said pooled water in the neighborhood seemed to be draining, but crews remained on the scene through the morning to assess the situation.

Residents like Tate are relieved because they know things could have been much worst.

"We get a lot of traffic up here, and if somebody had come through at the wrong time, they would have been in some serious troubles."

Residents said clean up will get underway as soon as this rain moves through, but it may take several days before things go back to normal.

Meanwhile in Ventura County, several vehicles, including a semi truck, were buried in debris and mud triggered by the heavy rain.

State Route 126, east of Fillmore, remained shut down Monday morning after three feet of mud and rocks surrounded those vehicles, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Crews spent hours trying to reach the stranded drivers. An estimated reopening time for the road was not clear.

In a Beverly Glen neighborhood, firefighters were stretched thing as they responded to mud flowing down a hillside Monday night.

The muddy debris blocked part of a street and snarled traffic. No one was hurt and it doesn't appear any homes were damaged.

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