General erosion, heavy rains and other factors help to cause landslides. Most common during severe storms, earthquakes, volcanoes and wildfires, landslides can cause injury or even death. Debris and mudflows can occur following heavy rain. They develop when water rapidly accumulates in the ground during heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt, changing the earth into a flowing river of mud or “slurry,” a thick fluid that often results from such conditions. They can flow rapidly, striking with little or no warning at avalanche speeds. They also can travel several miles from their source, growing in size as they pick up trees, boulders, cars, and other materials.
Portions of West Adams susceptible to landslides are primarily located in the areas between Crenshaw Boulevard, Fairfax and La Brea Avenue along the West Adams southern boundaries. These zones are within the Baldwin Hills area, and adjacent to the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, which are primarily designated for open space and low-density residential uses.