SAN PEDRO (CBS) — Onlookers were urged to keep away from San Pedro’s Paseo del Mar Monday after heavy rain sent a large portion of the previously shuttered cliff-top road sliding into the ocean.
Power lines began to sway around 3 p.m. Sunday and a large chunk of the road collapsed, leaving part of the cliff in the ocean. No one was hurt and no structures were damaged as a result of the slide, which affected an area bordering the White Point Nature Preserve.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released the following statement Sunday:
“On Sunday afternoon, a portion of the previously closed Paseo Del Mar between S. Western Avenue and S. Weymouth Avenue, in the San Pedro area, experienced a significant landslide. A section of the closed road slid off the hill and into the ocean. Thankfully, there were no injuries and no property was damaged. No homes or other buildings are threatened at this time. Because of the ongoing landslide, last week the City erected a chain link fence around the affected area and posted signs warning of the danger.
I would like to remind all residents and visitors that the landslide area remains unstable and presents a life-threatening hazard. Please follow the posted signs and keep out of the area. City engineers and other officials are working to determine the cause of the initial landslide and they have been directed to expedite a contract with an outside geotechnical firm to conduct a thorough study. The LAPD has increased patrols in the area to ensure individuals are not accessing the site. I would like to thank the residents of the White Point neighborhood for their patience and cooperation during this time.”
Officials have told residents on the other side of the roadway that the landslide won’t reach them.
Nearby homeowners said they’re frustrated because they knew the street was cracking and they wanted the city to do something — sooner.
“I don’t know what to believe,” said Bob Simpson, who lives less than a football field from the collapsed street. “I’d like to see them doing more work, though, than having meetings.”
Signs of a landslide began appearing over the summer. Since then, workers have been putting up fences and warning signs and relocating sewer and utility lines away from the area. However, no effort was made to stabilize the area.
Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal said a team of geologists were planning to dig holes 80 feet into the ground to determine the strength of the slide.
Lowenthal said there would be aid from the county and the state to help rebuild Paseo Del Mar but the project would take months.