Valley News -

Mandatory evacuation orders issued for portions of Holy Fire burn scar area

Multiple streets north of Lake Elsinore are closed because of flooding


Last updated 1/17/2019 at 11:34am

National Weather Service

According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest rain band is moving from Cajon Pass to Santa Ana mountains.

The Riverside County Emergency Management Department issued mandatory evacuation orders Thursday, Jan. 17 for neighborhoods throughout the Temescal Valley and just north and west of Lake Elsinore, including Amorose, Alberhill, Alvarado A, Glen Ivy, Glen Eden, Laguna B, Grace, Horsethief Canyon, Maitri, McVicker, Rice, and Withrow.

The Laguna A zone is under voluntary evacuation orders.

A care and reception center was set up at Temescal Canyon High School at 28755 El Toro Rd. in Lake Elsinore to take in residents. Small animals were being accepted at the San Jacinto Animal Campus, 581 S. Grand Ave, while residents with large animals were urged to contact Riverside County Animal Services at (951) 358-7387.

The Lake Elsinore Unified School District announced Thursday that Rice Canyon Elementary School and Withrow Elementary School would be closed because of the increased risk of debris flows in nearby residential areas.

More information is available at

The California Highway Patrol has shut down Temescal Canyon Road at Interstate 15 south of Corona due to flooding, and several lanes on the Pomona (60) Freeway at Hall Avenue have been swamped with water, according to the agency. The Riverside County Transportation Department has also shut down multiple streets north of Lake Elsinore because of flooding.

Temescal Canyon Road between Horsethief Canyon Road and Indian Truck Trail just north of Lake Elsinore was closed after it became submerged.

The intersection of Bosley Lane and Colt Drive in Horsethief Canyon, also north of Lake Elsinore, was swamped, forcing a closure.

Each impacted community lies along the eastern boundary of the Cleveland National Forest, where the 23,000-acre Holy Fire in August denuded steep terrain below Santiago Peak, permitting water to flow unchecked onto lower slopes where subdivisions are situated.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the Riverside County mountains and valleys through Thursday afternoon.

"The greatest threat for flash flooding (in Riverside County) would be between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday,'' according to a National Weather Service statement. "With the heaviest rain still to come on top of recent rainfall already soaking the ground, urban flooding is likely and flash flooding is certainly possible anywhere within the watch area.''

As of 8 a.m., the storm systems over the past four days had dropped 1.46 inches in Temecula, 3.07 inches in Lake Elsinore, 6.3 inches near upper Horsethief Canyon, 2.71 inches in Idyllwild.

The final storm system is expected to leave the region by Thursday night, and dry weather with warmer temperatures will prevail from Friday afternoon through next week, forecasters said.


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