Dry winter may mean no repeat of Lake Elsinore ‘superbloom’ chaos

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Southern California’s dry winter isn’t good for wildflowers, and that’s OK with officials in the city of Lake Elsinore where last spring’s “superbloom” of poppies drew huge crowds.

Riverside County parks official Dustin McLain said the chances of a “superbloom” in Walker Canyon this year are small because January was dry and February has started off the same way.

Lake Elsinore Mayor Brian Tisdale said he is hoping the big bloom doesn’t occur.

“That kind of attention – even though it’s probably the most beautiful thing in Southern California – has an overwhelming impact on the local community,” he said.

Last March, after a very wet winter, throngs of people flocked to Walker Canyon. Interstate 15 was jammed for miles in both directions and streets of the small city were gridlocked.

At one point, the city closed the canyon and barred cars from the area, requiring visitors to utilize shuttles to the floral extravaganza.