The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Contact: Molly Nichelson (714) 834-7218

UPDATE:  Heavy Rainfall Expected in Orange County on Wednesday, Risk of Mud and Debris Flows Near Holy Fire Burn Area

 Santa Ana, Calif. (October 2, 2018) – As two storms have made their way from the Pacific Ocean to Southern California, the latest forecasts are predicting rainfall across Orange County starting late Tuesday, October 2, with the heaviest rainfall expected on Wednesday, October 3. Local agencies continue to closely monitor weather conditions and are strongly advising residents of the potential risk of mud and debris flows originating from the Holy Fire burn area.

As of early Tuesday, more than one-half inch of rain is expected late Tuesday through early Thursday. While the predicted rainfall amount is lower than earlier forecasts, the threat of mud and debris flows originating from the Holy Fire burn area remains.

Residents of Trabuco Canyon are advised that the Holy Fire burn area is susceptible to mud and debris flows due to heavy rainfall and can occur with little or no warning. Mud and debris flows are fast-moving landslides that can be several feet deep and life-threatening. Flooding in nearby areas is also possible.

Several agencies, including the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Fire Authority, Orange County Public Works, the U.S. Forest Service and others are working collaboratively to monitor conditions and ensure response teams are in place.

The Holy Fire, which burned from early August to early September, scorched over 23,000 acres in Orange and Riverside Counties, including much of the Upper Trabuco Canyon and Holy Jim areas of Orange County within the U.S. Forest Service boundary.

What you can do to be prepared:

  • Sign up for AlertOC evacuation alerts and other updates at
  • Make a plan now to be prepared to leave before any flows/flooding begin, before roads are closed.
  • If debris flows, mud or water are already flowing, go to higher ground if possible.
  • Follow all evacuation orders by public safety officials.
  • Obtain sandbags to protect your home and property from flooding:

–          Unincorporated Orange County residents: Visit or call 714-955-0200

–          Residents in incorporated cities: Visit

  • Monitor official weather reports and alerts. Even if it is not raining where you are, a mud and debris flow that begins in higher terrain can quickly move and endanger you and your family.
  • If accurate predictions are available, Evacuation Warnings (Voluntary) will be issued for at-risk areas 24 – 48 hours before an expected storm. The safest time to leave is during an Evacuation Warning (Voluntary) before any flows begin. If possible, Mandatory Evacuation Orders will be issued 6 – 12 hours before the storm.
  • Know your local access roads and understand that some may be blocked by debris or water. Have an alternate route. Stay informed of road and highway conditions by visiting Caltrans’ website at
  • Stay out, stay alive. Never drive or walk into flood waters, mud or debris, and never go around barricades. It is impossible to know how deep water or mud is just by looking at it and the depth can change quickly.
  • Have an emergency plan and a disaster kit ready to go. Get details at available at
  • Consider pets in your emergency planning. Locate potential evacuation sites for you and your pets, such as with friends or at hotels outside your community. Locate boarding facilities or veterinary clinics that may be able to house your pets. Maintain a go bag for each pet that includes vaccination and other important medical records, medications, food, collar and leash, and photos of your family with your pets for identification purposes, etc. For more info, visit
  • If you or someone else is in imminent danger, dial 9-1-1.

In addition to monitoring local news media, residents are also encouraged to stay informed of the most current information by monitoring the following:

Social media



@OCFA_PIO (Twitter)


@OCAnimalCare (for animal shelter assistance)

Web site

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 or 9-1-1 if you are in a life-threatening emergency.

Unrelated to the County’s preparation for this week’s anticipated rainfall, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Management division will be testing its emergency notification system through AlertOC on Wednesday, October 3.  Beginning at around 11:18 a.m., Orange County residents who have opted into AlertOC will receive test emergency alerts as part of an exercise to test the mass notification system in preparation for future events. The test is in coordination with the nationwide “Presidential Alert” test on Wednesday that will be conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.


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