The following AlertOC message was sent to the area around Trabuco Canyon at 2:00 PM on November 19:
Effective Tuesday, November 19 at 1:40 PM, an Evacuation Warning (Voluntary) for the Holy Fire burn area has been issued by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department due to potential flooding and debris flows. The voluntary evacuation is for homes located within Trabuco Creek, Rose Canyon and the Mystic Oaks / El Cariso areas. The National Weather Service warns that significant rainfall is expected Wednesday morning between 3:00 AM and 12:00 PM. The public is warned that heavy rain, subsequent flooding and debris flows are possible. Evacuation routes can quickly become impassable due to mud, debris or flooding. Residents with large animals should follow their personal plans to move their animals before the rainfall arrives. For evacuation maps and additional information please visit www.ocgov.com/emergency. Any person with disabilities and those with access and/or functional needs requiring assistance in evacuating should call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Dispatch at 714-647-7000.
HOLY FIRE DEBRIS FLOW INFORMATION
County geologists, flood control experts, and other partners from Federal and State agencies made maps to show neighborhoods at risk from flash floods, debris flows, mud flows, falling rock and other landslides. These dangers can continue during storms for several years, until burned hillsides recover.
You'll often hear "debris flows" called "mudslides" or "mudflows." Many people use the terms interchangeably, but to scientists, each is a different kind of landslide. Debris flows are the most powerful and dangerous of the three.
Impacts to these areas may include roads that may become impassible and deadly, as well as disrupted or destroyed utilities.
When dangerous storms approach, this risk map will also show areas under evacuation warnings and orders:
Yellow means a zone is within the Evacuation Warning (Voluntary) area.
Red means a zone is within the Evacuation Order (Mandatory) area.
During evacuation warnings and orders, you should leave immediately and seek shelter outside all evacuation zones. If you are told to evacuate but you stay, you are risking your life. If you survive the storm, you could be isolated and trapped without help for many days, with roads impassible and utilities disrupted or destroyed.
BEFORE THE STORM:
Determine if your home, business, schools or necessary travel routes are in the at-risk areas by referring to the map above.
Know all your local access roads and understand that some may be blocked by debris or water. Have an alternate route. Stay informed or road and highway conditions.
Have an emergency plan and a disaster kit ready to go. For more information Visit ReadyOC.com. Print the Holy Debris Flow Flyer for reference before, during and after an event.
Flood insurance: Most homeowners insurance does not cover floods or flows from natural disasters. Make sure your home is protected. For more information, please refer to the National Flood Insurance Program website. Act now. Most flood insurance policies take up to 30 days to go into effect.
Learn the plan for your local school. Parents of children attending Trabuco Elementary School should contact their school district or visit their websiteto learn what steps the district will take to ensure student safety. This may include school closures and evacuations.
AS A STORM APPROACHES:
Follow all orders by public safety officials. Sign up for emergency alerts at AlertOC.com.
Leave before any flows begin, this the only safe time to leave. If debris flows, mud or water are already flowing, get higher than the flow, such as going to the highest floor in your home.
Heed all evacuations. Public safety officials will work quickly to issue evacuation notices. Each situation is different and some storms may not provide as much lead time for warnings as we hope. Evacuations Warnings (Voluntary) will be issued for at-risk areas 24-48 hours before an expected storm, if possible. As stated above, the safest time to leave is before any flow begins. Mandatory Evacuation Orders will be issued 6-12 hours before the storm, if possible.
Monitor official weather reports and heed weather alerts. Understand that the weather where you are can be different than back in the mountains where the flows start.
Never drive or walk into flood waters, mud or debris, and never go around barricades. It is impossible to know how deep the water or mud is just by looking at it and the depth can change quickly.
Protect your property with sandbags and other methods to divert water from entering structures and reduce erosion on your property. Visit OCPublicWorks.com and OCFA.org to find locations offering limited and unfilled sandbags and sand.
As always, in case of emergency, dial 9-1-1.
Residents can do their part to prepare for emergencies by registering for AlertOC. The time is now to sign up and include cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses to be a part of the regional test. For more information or to register alternate phone numbers or e-mail addresses, visit AlertOC.com.
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
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