Corona neighborhoods remain under evacuation as crews clear mud, debris from winter storm

Residential areas in southwest Corona that abut hillsides impacted by last fall’s Canyon Fire remained under an evacuation order today as crews cleared mud and debris from streets and ensured locations were secure following a powerful winter storm that moved through the area.

According to the Corona Emergency Services Department, the mandatory evacuation that went into effect shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday is likely to be lifted later today, but there was no set time.

Police officers and firefighters deployed throughout several neighborhoods, using bullhorns and sirens to alert residents to the need to evacuate, after the National Weather Service issued a warning that mud and debris flows were likely as heavy rains developed.

Several streets flooded and were left caked with mud, but there was no word on damage to homes.

A voluntary evacuation had been called in the hazard zone Monday, advising residents of the need to find alternate lodgings as the winter storm intensified.

A temporary evacuation center was established at Corona High School, 1150 W. 10th St. The Corona Animal Shelter accepted displaced pets at the city pound at 1330 Magnolia Ave.

According to city officials, about 150 homes are located in the hazard zone, encompassing Bulrush Circle, Canyon Crest Drive, Diamond View Street,  Elderberry Circle, Hidden Hills Way, Oakridge Drive, Sageleaf Circle, Saltbush Circle, San Alameda Road, San Ponte Road, San Sebastian Circle, San Viscaya Circle, Star Canyon Circle and Wilderness Drive.

All of the properties are situated on the perimeter of the Cleveland National Forest, at the extreme southwest end of the city, where the Canyon Fire broke out in September, blackening 2,600 acres before it was contained. It was followed two weeks later by Canyon Fire 2, which mainly impacted Anaheim Hills in Orange County.

The hillsides stripped bare by the original blaze were considered at greatest risk of heavy storm runoff, and the houses surrounding the slopes were exposed to damaging floods, officials said.

Road blocks were established at entrances to most of the streets.

Corona police directed anyone with questions about the mandatory evacuation order to call the police department’s information line at (951) 817-5800, or visit CoronaCA.gov/StormWatch.

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