Valley News -

Heavy rains cause flooding, mudslides in Lake Elsinore

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for some neighborhoods


Last updated 12/7/2018 at 9:36am

Ryan Ponitz

Mud and debris covers Cobblestone and Brookstone streets that are within the mandatory evacuation area in Lake Elsinore on Thursday, Dec. 6.

RIVERSIDE - The threat of mud and debris flows prompted Riverside County public safety officials today to issue a mandatory evacuation warning to neighborhoods in Lake Elsinore and the Temescal Valley on Thursday, Dec. 6.

The Emergency Management Department advised residents that the following zones are under mandatory evacuation orders: Amorose, Alberhill, Glen Ivy A, Glen Ivy B, Glen Eden, Grace, Horsethief A, Laguna A, Matri, McVicker A, Rice, Withrow A.

The agency said the boundaries of these evacuation zones have changed from previous evacuations in the Holy burn area and residents should look up their address in the Post Wildfire Risk & Evacuations Map at to see their evacuation zone and the status of that zone or call (951) 940-6985.

Reports are coming out of the area regarding flooding and people in need of rescue:

1:30 p.m: The Riverside County Fire Department has shut down Temescal Canyon Road at Indian Truck Trail, alongside Interstate 15 north of Lake Elsinore, due to flooding.

2:30 p.m .: Riverside County Fire Department crews performed a swift water rescue at Brookstone Lane and Toft Drive, just north of Lake Elsinore, where flood waters have left several people stranded.

2:54 p.m .: The manager of a Shell gas station at Bundy Canyon Road and Cherry Street in Wildomar says standing water is all around his building. Riverside County Fire Department personnel have been dispatched to help mitigate the flooding.

3:15 p.m .: The Lake Elsinore Unified School District reports that Lakeside High's theater production is canceled for tonight because of the inclement weather.

A care and reception center is open at Temescal Canyon High School, located at 28755 El Toro Rd in Lake Elsinore.

All of the locations abut the forest, where the 23,000-acre Holy Fire in August denuded hillsides, raising the potential for damaging flash floods, mud and debris flows.

The same areas were placed under a mandatory evacuation a week ago, when the region's first major winter storm produced thunderstorms and intense rainfall that resulted in flooding and mudflows. Several homes were damaged, but no one was injured or trapped.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory that is in effect until 12:30 p.m. for western Riverside County.

"NWS radar indicated showers moving into Orange County and this activity will increase through noon. Showers will be heavy at times with rainfall rates of .15 to .25 per hour,'' NWS forecasters said in a statement.

"Showers will also move into the western Inland Empire. The rainfall will cause urban flooding in low lying areas, poor drainages and swift water through channels,'' forecasters said.

Ryan Ponitz

Mud and debris covers Cobblestone and Brookstone streets that are within the mandatory evacuation area in Lake Elsinore on Thursday, Dec. 6.

In a 24-hour period ending around 9 a.m., the metropolitan Riverside area received .20 of an inch of rainfall, the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning received .39 of an inch, Corona received .29 of an inch, .71 of an inch of rain fell near Silverado and Palm Springs received .19 of an inch, according to the NWS.

Meteorologists say the storm will drop up to a half-inch of rain in the Riverside metropolitan area today, up to four-10ths of an inch in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and around a quarter-inch in the Coachella Valley.

Light snow could drop above 6,500 feet in the San Bernardino Mountains.

High temperatures today are expected to reach 58 degrees in Riverside, 49 in the county mountains, 57 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and 62 in the Coachella Valley.

Public safety officials told the Riverside County Board of Supervisors Tuesday that evacuations will be a reoccurring possibility for the duration of the rainy season.

Jeff Pack contributed to this report.


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