LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA) — Residents in the Holy Fire burn area are facing a dilemma — they are under a state order to stay home because of the coronavirus outbreak, but also in the path of a slow-moving winter storm that could lead to mudflows and force them to evacuate.
An evacuation warning was issued Sunday for homes in Indian Canyon, which burned during the 2018 Holy Fire. Lake Elsinore has since experienced major mudflows during subsequent rain storms.
Alert RivCo: Evacuation Warning issued for residents of Indian Canyon (Holy Fire burn scar Glen Eden and Grace A zones) due to potential for heavy rain tonight. Call 211 for shelter info. pic.twitter.com/JAV4XiLAUA
— RivCoReady (@RivCoReady) April 5, 2020
Like all Californians, residents in Lake Elsinore and Corona are doing their best to stay at home in compliance with CDC social distancing guidelines to help slow the spread of coronavirus. But what takes precedence when heavy rain and potential mudslides could threaten the very homes they are sheltering in?
“It’s confusing times, scary for sure,” Jill Russek said. “What do we do? Do we stay in place and do we shelter down? Or do we put ourselves out there with our family members and and expose people?”
The storm has not yet produced rainfall heavy enough to cause mudflows in the area. But it is forecast to bring rainfall to the region through Thursday.
“It’s already hard coming to work with while this thing is going on, and now we got this on top of it,” Ricardo Soto said.
Mud and debris flows did not materialize during recent rain storms, but officials do not want residents to be complacent this week. The county says they will not open a shelter for health reasons, but if families in flood-prone areas need to leave their homes, they will work with them.
Authorities say residents should call 211 for shelter information.