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OC residents prepare for next rain storm

December 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
More rain is on the way, possibly arriving as soon as late Tuesday night. That could pose major problems for areas hit hard by last week's storms. Another round of intense rain is expected across Southern California.

Many areas are still scrambling to repair the damage from last week's record-setting storms.

Laguna Beach officials estimate last week's storm damage at more than $10 million.

Volunteers removed mud from pens that usually hold rescued seals or other marine mammals.

"We'll be doing additional sandbagging as well to help block the entryways and just clear out as much of the mud and debris that we can," said Melissa Sciacca, director of development, Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

Four feet of muddy debris filled the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. Structures shifted when the hillside gave way during heavy rain last week.

"I don't think there are any words for what's happened," said volunteer Lindsey Vanschoick. "I've never quite seen anything like it."

The animals are now staying elsewhere, but the non-profit organization suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

"Various pieces of medical equipment have been destroyed and ruined, many supplies were lost," said Sciacca. "We need shovels, we need a new washing machine."

For now the center remains closed. So does the animal shelter next door. It also suffered severe damage and is preparing for the next storm.

"Our city folks tell us everything is safe and under normal circumstances, a quarter- to half-an-inch wouldn't be a problem, but considering what happened over the past week, you just don't know," said Jim Beres, spokesman for the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter.

At Main Beach, workers fix clogged storm drains. The boardwalk remains closed after last week's flooding downtown. Officials say more than 100 businesses and homes in Laguna Beach suffered damage. The downtown has reopened and sandbags sit nearby.

In San Juan Capistrano, Trabuco Creek is now reinforced with heavy boulders after the earth gave way last week ?

In Williams Canyon, workers repaired water lines. Storm damage could still be clearly seen.

In Trabuco Canyon, crews clear debris from the road as Orange County braces for the next rain.

"We're trying to prepare for the worst, hope for the best," said Beres.

Laguna Canyon Rd. re-opened Tuesday afternoon.

As for the upcoming rain, the city of Laguna Beach plans to have extra staff in place. The emergency operations center plans to stay open.


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