Parts Of Southern California Under Several Feet Of Water

Destroyed California homes and flooded roads have devastated much of Southern California, and the local highway patrol posts are noting a high uptick in the number of California auto accidents. The Orange County Register describes the scene in Laguna Beach:

Much of downtown Laguna Beach was under several feet of water early Wednesday, prompting police to close streets leading into that area and to advise workers in the business district to stay home.

Laguna Beach Police called in several of their officers who were scheduled to be off Wednesday morning, trying to get every hand in to help deal with severe flooding and mudslides throughout the city.

Police and fire officials from Laguna Beach conducted 20 to 25 rescues from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., said Lt. Jason Kravetz. Several residents were trapped inside their cars, and some residents had to be removed from their homes.

“Downtown is completely under water. It’s a flowing river,” Sgt. Joe Torres said early Wednesday.
Officials dispatched a swift-water rescue team that moved through the city by boat — the only way to access several areas.

By 9:30 a.m., the water had begun to subside. But residents and shop owners were left mopping up mud and sand inside downtown stores.

The rains have caused erosion in a number of areas in Orange County and Los Angeles County, and southern California drivers and homeowners should continue to keep track of emergency weather broadcasts due to the volatile situation. More than 200 homes in the foothils of Los Angeles County were already ordered evacuated on Wednesday.

[Image: Hector Sanchez via Flickr]