Southern California storm: Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu reopens after mudslide

MALIBU, Calif. (KABC) -- As the first in a series of storms moved into the Southland on Thursday, lightning, mudslides and flooding led to road and beach closures in Los Angeles County.

Zuma Beach was shut down due to lightning. Los Angeles County lifeguards closed down the beach shortly before 9 a.m. Malibu city officials said other beaches are being monitored and may be closed depending on storm activity and direction.

MORE: Southern California forecast

Residents and visitors were urged to stay away from all beaches until the series of storms forecast for Thursday through Monday have passed through Malibu.

Also in the area, a mudslide and flooding shut down a 14-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway from northern Broad Beach Road to Las Posas Road in Ventura County, Malibu officials said.

PCH was reopened by around 4 p.m. as Caltrans crews were able to clear the mud and debris from the roadway.

The rain pushed mud and debris onto PCH near Deer Creek Canyon Road, causing traffic to be backed up. Caltrans said lanes were still open but warned that may change depending on conditions.

"Yup, this is the new normal," said Ventura resident Barry Kriegstein. "Unfortunately, this is what happens. That's why we live out here. You just have to deal with it."

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch in areas impacted by wildfires, including the Woolsey Fire burn area, until 3 p.m.

All ocean and beach areas in Santa Monica were shut down after an electrical storm with lightning was reported in the region. Lightning also shut down Hermosa and Seal beaches, including the piers.

The National Weather Service also issued a small craft advisory through 3 p.m., Los Angeles County lifeguards said on Twitter.

The leading edge of the storm began dropping rain in Ventura County and was moving down toward Los Angeles County.

Thursday's storm will be short but strong, with the heaviest rain expected in the afternoon. The rain will likely be wrapped by early Thursday evening. Another storm is moving in Friday night.

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