NEAR IRVINE (CBSLA) – A fire-scarred neighborhood in hilly Silverado Canyon east of Irvine remained under evacuation orders Thursday after it was hit with a large mudslide during stormy weather Wednesday.
The slide occurred in the area of Grundy Way and Anderson Way sometime before 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Video from Sky2 showed several cars trapped in mud. Nine vehicles were damaged and at least six homes had mudflow through them, the Orange County Fire Authority reported. Four residents were trapped in their homes and had to be rescued by firefighters.
There were no reported injuries. OCFA crews spent the entire day Wednesday clearing mud and debris from properties and roads, and were doing the same work Thursday.
An evacuation order was issued for hundreds of residents in Silverado Canyon, along with nearby Modjeska and Williams canyons. The powerful storm which first hit the region Tuesday night was expected to remain through at least Thursday evening, bringing on-and-off rain.
Residents remain wary that downpours could bring another mudslide. Kristine Kaatz couldn’t contain her joy as she watched county workers dig her out of her home. She was trapped by a closed roadway littered with mud and her neighbors’ cars.
“They were here until 8:30 last night, and there was truck after truck after truck coming through,” Kaatz told CBSLA Thursday.
“When the creek is flowing really good, it almost sounds like thunder the rocks rolling down the creek,” Neighbor Peter Wilson said.
Silverado Canyon Road remained closed between Olive Drive and Ladd Canyon Thursday.
“Maybe about two hours ago, we got a call from our neighbor who said that within about three to five minutes the entire hill behind our homes just moved as if it was a tidal wave, she described it,” one man told CBSLA Wednesday. “So we decided that it would be in our best interests to come home.”
A temporary evacuation point was set up by the Red Cross at El Modena High School, located at 3920 East Spring St. in Orange, to help residents find safe shelter as needed.
Silverado Canyon was the site two massive wildfires which broke in October and December, both spurred on by powerful Santa Ana winds.
The 7,300-acre Bond Fire broke out in Silverado Canyon Dec. 2. It started as a house fire before spreading into nearby brush, destroyed at least 31 structures and damaged another 21 more. It forced thousands of people to flee.
The 13,400 acre Silverado Fire also broke out in the Silverado Canyon area on Oct. 26, burning 13,400 acres and forcing more than 90,000 to evacuate. Remarkably, no homes were destroyed.
“That hillside got burned down to the dirt,” neighbor Mick Coughlin said Thursday. “So, in my opinion, there’s gonna be more mudflows. Not just this year, but for years to come.”
A large storm in late January also caused mudslides in the burn scars for the Bond and Silverado fires.