The California Department of Transportation said Wednesday afternoon that a new mudslide caused by the recent rainstorms has closed all lanes of northbound and southbound Topanga Canyon Boulevard (State Route 27) approximately 200 yards north of Pacific Coast Highway. Power lines have also been damaged from the mudslide.

Access to Topanga Canyon Boulevard can be achieved from the northern portion of the road near U. S. 101. Duration of this closure is unknown at this time.

The National Weather Service said scattered showers and thunderstorms were possible Wednesday afternoon, though it is expected to be dry through the weekend. More rain is possible early next week.

Storms have caused $52.5 million in damage to Los Angeles County roads and facilities since the beginning of this year. The county has spent $9 million on repairs, including $500,000 since last weekend, city officials said.

Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn has asked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to seek a federal disaster declaration from President Bush to free up federal aid.

Persistent rain since last week caused landslides, avalanches and even tornado funnels, and sent mud charging into homes.

Dozens of homes have been declared unsafe because of the threat from sliding hillsides. On Wednesday morning, three homes were red-tagged in Glassell Park, brining the citywide total of red- or yellow-tagged homes to 100.

Mud and rockslides from the storm closed both lanes of Malibu Canyon Road and could take days to clean up and the Pacific Coast Highway is closed in both directions from Big Rock Drive to Las Flores Canyon. Topanga Canyon Road near Big Rock Drive has suffered closures as well, according to Caltrans.

Through Tuesday afternoon, more than 8.3 inches of rain had fallen in downtown Los Angeles since the storm began Feb. 17, the National Weather Service reported. That lifts the season total to 33.09 inches, moving past the 32.76 inches that fell in the 1940 to 1941 season, and approaching the third-highest figure of 33.44 inches in the 1977 to1978 season.

The wettest season since records began being kept in 1877 was in 1883 to 1884, when 38.18 inches of rain fell in L.A.

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