In light of a forecast calling for rain that could unleash rockslides, mudslides and debris flows down slopes recently denuded by the Woolsey Fire, Malibu city officials urged residents Tuesday to make storm preparations but avoid removing burn debris.

“All Malibu residents are urged to prepare for potential flooding, mudslides, power outages and evacuations,” the city said in a statement released Tuesday morning.

The National Weather Service expects moderate to locally heavy rain starting Wednesday night into Thursday for Los Angeles and Ventura counties, with up to two inches of rain possible.

“Prepare for lack of water, power and natural gas, non-functional traffic signals, and roads that may be impassable,” the Malibu city statement said. “Evacuation orders should not be taken lightly and are ordered because there is a threat to life and property. Evacuate early to reduce traffic congestion out of Malibu.”

Residents can pick up free, empty sandbags at Malibu area fire stations.

People were reminded to stay away from flood control channels, catch basins, canyons and natural waterways, which are susceptible to flooding during periods of heavy rain, and to be aware that roads throughout the burn areas are subject to intermittent closures due to mud and debris flows.

Motorists are urged to use extreme caution, watch for slippery road conditions, follow posted warnings and speed signs, and never to drive into moving water. Anyone who becomes isolated should seek the highest ground available and wait for help.

If you see someone who has been swept into moving water, do not enter the water and attempt a rescue. Call 911 for emergency rescue personnel and, if possible, throw them a flotation device.

Do not attempt to remove burn debris before this week’s anticipated rainfall as it contains hazardous materials that can threaten public health, according to city officials. No debris removal from burned properties is allowed until inspections by state and county health officials have been completed and properties have been approved for debris removal. Burn debris must be properly inspected and disposed of.

Know how to shut off utilities. Beware of water around electricity, including downed power lines, generators, electric appliances, and your home electrical system. There may be intermittent power outages and associated street closures as power is restored throughout the impacted areas. For current power outages, visit SCE outage center page at www.sce.com/outage-center.

As natural gas service is restored to areas that have been deemed safe, assessments and necessary repairs are underway. For safety reasons, customers should never attempt to restore natural gas service themselves. For questions about the service restoration process or about natural gas service, contact SoCalGas at (877) 238-0092, or visit www.socalgas.com/newsroom/fires.

Find out if you have flood insurance and what your existing policy covers. Call your insurance agent or contact the National Flood Insurance Program Call Center at (800) 621-3362 for information about the NFIP or questions about an existing policy.

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