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Malibu was bookended by two major road closures Tuesday, and commuters and school kids were temporarily stranded.
Power lines burned and dangled above the Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades in the morning, and the coastal road into Ventura County remained closed for a second day due to mud and rock slides.
Burning power lines at PCH and Sunset Boulevard stranded hundreds of cars in Malibu, and hundreds of Malibu residents were unable to get home on the coastal route.
Three buses filled with students spent hours stuck in traffic, with Malibu High School cut off from many homes in the Sunset Mesa neighborhood and in Santa Monica.
About 4:30 p.m., parents were told that two bus loads of students heading to Topanga Canyon and Sunset Mesa would be dropped off at their normal stops once traffic began moving again. But the buses had been stopped in traffic for 90 minutes and counting.
A third bus would be routed through Topanga Canyon, Calabasas, Sepulveda Pass and West L.A. before dropping kids at two locations in Santa Monica tonight, “but that’s only once it gets moving,” principal Dave Jackson said.
The latest problem was reported just east of Sunset Boulevard about 10:20 a.m., Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department said. PCH was closed between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Temescal Canyon Road, and traffic was not allowed onto Sunset Boulevard, the only parallel road in the area, which sent traffic on a 25-mile detour via the Ventura (101) and San Diego (405) freeways.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power sent “multiple crews” to the scene to repair the lines, according to Kim Hughes of the LADWP.
The MTA’s busy Route 534 out of Santa Monica was running only as far as the closure, and the several MTA buses stuck in Malibu were shuttling passengers back and forth.
Electrical service to 417 customers was interrupted, according to Hughes, who said it was unclear what caused the lines to come down. Crossarms fell to the pavement at the parking lot at Gladstone’s 4 Fish restaurant, in the heart of the closure area.
A nine-mile section of the coastal route was closed in Ventura County, where a mud and rock slide triggered by the previous storm on Sunday covered PCH between Yerba Buena and Las Posas roads.
The two closures left three canyon routes open between Malibu and the 101 — Kanan-Dume, Malibu Canyon and Topanga Canyon boulevards — as well as a few twisty mountain roads. Scattered rockslides were quickly scooped out of those roads by county and state crews.
A car on Malibu Canyon Road was hit by two boulders and damaged about 3:30 p.m., but the rocks were quickly plowed out of the way
— City News Service
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