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Mudslides, flooding close roads including PCH; 'huge' storm expected Monday afternoon

December 20, 2010 |  6:14 am

Rain continued to pound Southern California overnight, prompting several major road closures due to flooding and mudslides.

The California Highway Patrol closed a 10-mile section of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu due to the rock slide on the road in Ventura County. The 710 Freeway was closed for several hours at Willow Street in Long Beach due to flooding.

Numerous roads around the hillside areas burned in the Station fire -- including Big Tujunga Road and Angeles Forest Highway -- also were shut down.

As of Monday morning, the region was seeing scattered showers. But the National Weather Service warned that a new storm will "bring heavy rain and the potential for serious flooding between late this afternoon through Wednesday afternoon." The San Bernardino Mountains "could see huge rainfall totals."

Click here for an interactive explainer on how mudslides formThe subtropical drenching came from a rare weather system that arrives about once every decade. In the last four days, downtown Los Angeles has received 3.75 inches of rain -- a quarter of the rainfall it typically receives in an entire year.

The warm Pacific storm swept the entire state. It rattled Cape Mendocino with thunder, dumped 9 feet of snow on Mammoth Mountain, flooded streets in usually dry Bakersfield and tossed 2 feet of floodwater onto a residential street in La Crescenta.

Sunday's precipitation broke records across the Southland. Downtown L.A. saw 2.3 inches, shattering a record set in 1921. More than 3 inches of rain fell in Pasadena and San Gabriel, breaking decades-old records.

The rain was expected to taper off overnight. The first of the next three storms was predicted to arrive Monday night, with more intervals of severe rain coming Tuesday and Wednesday.

Accuweather.com meteorologist Carl Erickson said 3 to 5 additional inches of rain could fall along L.A.'s coast and in the valleys. By Wednesday night, the total may have hit 5 to 7 inches of rain in those regions, with more than 10 inches in the foothills and mountains.

"I think you guys are going to see a lot of flooding problems," said meteorologist Mike Pigott.


Interactive: How mud slides form

Huge storm expected Monday afternoon

Six L.A. County locations set new rainfall records

-- Rong Gong Lin II and Shelby Grad