January 2005: Southern California is experiencing the second wettest season on record, and torrential rains cause several landslides. Three months later, Californians are beginning to think the danger has passed. But in Laguna Beach, a community set against a steep hillside, water from heavy rains has seeped into the slopes, causing them to become unstable.
As a Laguna Beach family, the Stevens, begins their day, they suddenly realize that the hillside beneath their house is giving way. The front door is wedged shut. As the Stevens work to free the door, loud cracking noises associated with the landslide awakens another resident down the street. She races to collect her two small children and runs out into the front yard. Finally the Stevens are able to break through the wedged door and escape. They watch in horror as houses begin to collapse along the street.
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