Campus Conditions and Inclement Weather Preparedness
Following the events of the Woolsey Fire, Pepperdine has now returned its Malibu and Calabasas campuses to normal operations. Remediation and cleaning have been completed on both campuses, and all buildings are in good condition and ready for occupancy.
American Environmental Specialists (AES) has completed its two-phase analysis of our indoor air quality, including in residence halls, classrooms, and other buildings. After nearly 70 samples were taken, no detectable particulates resulting from the Woolsey Fire were found. The University will continue to utilize AES for air sampling services when necessary as weather conditions warrant to maintain a healthy campus environment.
Pepperdine has begun to prepare its campuses for anticipated inclement weather events beginning this week and continuing throughout the winter. The National Weather Service forecast indicates that the Malibu area will have rain beginning tonight through tomorrow with coastal areas possibly receiving more than an inch of rain. A flash flood watch has not been issued, and rain from this storm is not expected to significantly impact burn areas on campus.
Pepperdine has engaged with two leading firms to investigate campus conditions following the Woolsey Fire, especially in areas prone to increased debris flow due to the burn. University officials have also met this week with Los Angeles County civil and flood control engineers who are proactively working with the University on multiple slope stabilization and erosion control measures.
At this time, the University is monitoring the hillsides impacted by the fires and has begun implementing solutions to mitigate erosion for these and other areas, including spraying Flexterra, a hydraulic erosion control measure, and hydroseed, which uses a combination of seed and mulch to bond with soil and promote vegetation growth. In addition, the University is investigating the use of concrete k-rails to help block debris flow in some areas and will continue to ensure that capacity is available in each of its debris basins, including at Marie Canyon, at Winter Canyon, and above the Drescher academic complex.
As California anticipates a likely El Niño event this winter, including potential for strong winds and heavy rains, the safety of our campus community is the University’s highest priority. Preparations for inclement weather include, among other things, a comprehensive review of our emergency plans to protect our campus community, regular inspections and maintenance of drainage systems, coordination among first responders, preparation for deploying emergency supplies, and the ongoing evaluation of areas of campus that may be most affected by rainfall.
The University will communicate regularly with all faculty, staff, and students in the event of a campus closure or other departures from normal campus operations due to inclement weather. Urgent or critical information will be delivered via Everbridge, the University’s emergency alert system, and the latest information will always be available on the University’s Emergency Information Page. Community members are also encouraged to call the University’s Road Conditions Hotline at 310.506.ROAD for up-to-date information on road closures in the Malibu area.