MODJESKA CANYON (CBSLA) — The race was on Thursday to remove dead wood and debris along the Santiago Canyon Road as a powerful winter storm approached.
The Bond Fire burned thousands of acres of remote canyon land in Orange County last month, and with several inches of rain on the way, crews were rushing to clear culverts and storm channels.READ MORE: Former VP Mike Pence Comes To Simi Valley For Reagan Library's 'Time For Choosing' Speaker Series
“Pretty much we’re just cleaning out the debris, we’re just preparing for the flood and trying to be ready,” Angel Cua, of the California Conservation Corps, said.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation warning for residents in Silverado Canyon, Williams Canyon and Modjeska Canyon.
“If mud crosses these roads they can become impassable, and it makes it tough for first responders but also residents trying to evacuate,” Shannon Widor, of Orange County Public Works, said. “So, we ask that they heed those orders or any warnings and get out of the area before rain comes tonight.”
In Silverado Canyon, the McLean family was working furiously to secure the Tiptoe Ranch before the rains started. The Bond Fire burned the property, right up to the house.READ MORE: Coronado High Basketball Coach JD Laaperi Fired Over Tortilla-Throwing Incident
The most recent rain, a relatively minor storm, sent debris flowing through the front gate.
“Most of the water came down from the top, and it flooded up to the gate,” Milan McLean said. “Since the wildfire happened, nothing is staying retained up there.”
And while the McLean family already had its sandbags ready to go, public works employees were helping others get prepared at a large-scale sandbag station at the entrance of Modjeska Canyon.
“I’m just being very cautious, and I’m just getting a few sandbags to protect my farm, because with just a little bit of rain we have mudslides and flooding,” Ana Noriega, a Trabuco Canyon resident, said.MORE NEWS: Final Missing Cow Which Escaped Meatpacking Plant Found In South El Monte Park
In the event a mudslide wipes out power and fiberoptic lines, Verizon was setting up a hotspot to help first responders and residents get cell service — though it only works for those in close proximity.