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A heavily traveled section of Laurel Canyon Boulevard through the Hollywood Hills, closed when part of a home’s concrete foundation tumbled down a hillside after a round of rainfall, will remain off- limits until at least Monday, officials said Thursday.
The problem was reported early Wednesday afternoon at a residence perched above Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the 8100 block of West Gould Avenue.
Firefighters and an Urban Search and Rescue team with specialized equipment were sent to the property, and Laurel Canyon Boulevard was closed from Gould Avenue to Kirkwood Drive as a precaution. A hard closure remained in place Thursday along that stretch of the boulevard, a heavily used artery for motorists traveling between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.
The couple who rent the home, which was built in 1925, was safely evacuated after the ground on which the house stands was seen to have weakened. Then, around 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, a 9,000-pound slab of concrete from the foundation and retaining wall, which was attached to a patio, slid down the hillside and landed near the road below, which became blocked by debris.
No one was hurt, but the home was red-tagged, meaning it is unsafe to enter. Neighboring homes, one to the south and another to the north, were yellow-tagged, meaning access is allowed with caution advised, and those residents were told to stay out of their backyards.
Dave Lara of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety said the collapse took out part of a fence and some ground. Firefighters placed sand bags to divert rain.
This morning, another mudslide was reported in the neighborhood as steady rainfall continued.
The road will remain closed to through traffic between Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland Drive until the rain ceases and an engineering assessment can take place, according to Kate Hutton of the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department. That won’t happen until late Monday or early Tuesday “at the absolute earliest,” she said.
Meanwhile, vehicles over 6,000 pounds are prohibited from using the busy link between the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles basin. Drivers of such rigs are being directed to use either the San Diego (405) or Hollywood (101) freeways, she said.
Alternate routes through Hollywood Hills canyons are also closed to those vehicles, Hutton said.
In addition to the hard closure between Gould and Kirkwood, street closures are also in effect along Laurel Canyon Boulevard at the intersections of Mulholland Drive, Lookout Mountain Avenue, Kirkwood Drive, Gould Avenue, Mount Olympus Drive, Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard, she said.
Residents are allowed to access their homes, but commuters must use alternative routes, according to the Emergency Management Department.
—City News Service
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