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City of Lake Elsinore 

Lake Elsinore declares end to Super Bloom, thanks community and partners for support

 

Last updated 4/9/2019 at 12:41pm



LAKE ELSINORE - Since late February, the hillsides of Lake Elsinore have been covered in poppies attracting thousands of visitors to the city eager to take part in a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.

But, today, these hillsides have faded from orange to green as officials say the poppies are now well past their peak and on their way out. More specifically, rangers have noted that many of the poppies have begun to drop their petals and plants have started to desiccate, or wither.

“The Super Bloom has been unlike any event we have ever experienced before,” said Mayor Steve Manos. “The extreme beauty of our hillsides that drew attention from around the world is now diminishing quickly, and our residents sure are eager for things to get back to normal.”

The Super Bloom, an unpredictable event, led to thousands of unexpected visitors clogging local roadways and causing gridlock throughout parts of the city, which created significant public safety and congestion concerns.

The city and its partners responded to this unplanned, natural phenomenon by putting public safety first.

City, county, transportation and public safety personnel worked together to create a unified approach to address the increasing public safety challenges related to the Super Bloom. This included increasing available resources and support, implementing additional traffic control measures, increased enforcement, expanded public notices, and the use of shuttle services on the weekends.

The overall goal of these efforts was to ensure the safety of those visiting Walker Canyon while also reducing traffic impacts and safety concerns from residents.

This past weekend, the city scaled back its efforts and resources recognizing a steady decline in visitors. All visitors were still required to take a shuttle to view the bloom. However, many had to hike several miles to see more substantial poppy displays. Overall, this weekend drew much smaller crowds than the three weekends prior. A total of 4,658 visitors took the shuttle this past weekend, compared to 12,062 the weekend prior.

Since August of 2018, the city has had to address four extreme natural crises that have threatened the safety of its citizens, tested the strength of its community, challenged the will of its staff, and needed the support of the entire region.

“From fire, to flooding, to fish, to flowers, the City cannot express how grateful we are to our residents, staff, and partners for their continued support over the last eight months,” said Mayor Manos. “The Super Bloom been quite the experience and we are thankful for our amazing partners who jumped into action to help us. We could not have survived the poppy apocalypse without their support.”

Below is a list of the public and private partners that supported the City in their time of need:

Public Agencies

- Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

- California Highway Patrol

- Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District

- Caltrans

- County of Riverside Transportation and Land Management

- Riverside County District 1 Supervisor, Kevin Jeffries

- Riverside County Transportation Commission

- CAL Fire & Riverside County Fire Department

- Riverside County Emergency Management Department

Private Agencies

- Outlets at Lake Elsinore

- Stryder Transportation

- Chandler Aggregate

- Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians

- Lake Street Properties LP

- Traffic Management, Inc. (TMI)

- Versatile Sounds

Moving forward, the city and its partners will continue to monitor the area and enforce illegal activity. However, at this time, no additional resources or efforts will be put in place on the weekends or weekdays. Visitors are still anticipated but at a much slower rate and are expected to taper off soon.

City staff is currently reconciling all associated costs and incidents to summarize the impacts of the bloom on the community. This data will be shared once confirmed.

Find out more at http://www.lake-elsinore.org/superbloom.

 

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