An aerial view of a Beverly Crest home that was pushed off its foundation by a mudslide early Monday morning near Beverly Glen Boulevard. No one was home when the mudslide occurred.
Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
Some Southern California areas that received the most rain are also home to the rich and famous.Beverly Hills was under a flash flood warning, while Bel Air and Woodland Hills got over 10 inches of rain.The National Weather Service warned of dangerous situations in the Hollywood Hills and Santa Monica Mountains.
As an atmospheric river pounds Southern California with a historic deluge of rain, some of the hardest-hit areas also happen to be among the most desirable zip codes.
Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles were both under flash flood warnings on Monday. Photos from Beverly Hills showed workers trying to clear roads of debris and mud that had washed in.
The National Weather Service in Los Angeles said an “extremely dangerous situation” was unfolding in the “Hollywood Hills area and around the Santa Monica Mountains,” which run into Malibu.
“Life threatening landslides and additional flash flooding expected overnight tonight,” the NWS said in the early morning hours on Monday. “Avoid travel if at all possible.”
Malibu’s median household income is around $187,000 a year while in Beverly Hills it is about $117,000, according to the US Census Bureau — both well over the the median household income for the city of Los Angeles, which is $76,000.
“We are seeing a lot of rescues of cars on roads, due to mud and debris flow, in the Hollywood Hills and up into the Santa Monica Mountains,” Todd Hall, NWS meteorologist told the Los Angeles Times on Monday morning. “Communities, such as Pacific Palisades, Bel Air, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, and Topanga are being affected by reports of debris flow going into homes.”
By Monday evening, Topanga Canyon, Woodland Hills, and Bel Air had all gotten some of the highest levels of rainfall at over 10 inches, KTLA reported — all areas will median household incomes well over the city or county at large, especially Bel Air at about $171,000.
In Studio City, surging waters washed objects away from mansions in the hills, The Associated Press reported. “Mud, rocks, and water came rushing down through their house and another neighbor’s house and into our street,” resident Keki Mingus told the outlet of the water that filled the street on Monday. “I can’t believe it. It looks like a river that’s been here for years. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Further from Los Angeles, other areas that draw the wealthy also tend to be at an increased risk of flooding and landslides when huge quantities of rain hit the state.
Parts of Montecito — a coastal community near Santa Barbara known for attracting famous residents — were under evacuation orders over the weekend.
“We need to be nicer to mother nature ’cause mother nature is not happy with us,” DeGeneres said at the time. “Let’s all do our part. Stay safe everybody.”
Montecito’s fire chief told the Los Angeles Times that this storm could be more intense than the one that hit in January 2023.
“Our slopes are saturated once again,” Montecito Fire Chief David Neels told the LA Times, adding, “The likelihood of sediment mobilization is real.”