Orange County braces for forecasted El Nino havoc

Saturday, November 21, 2015
Orange County braces for forecasted El Nino havoc
Orange County residents place sandbags outside their homes in preparations for the upcoming El Nino.

SILVERADO, Calif. (KABC) -- Sandbags can be spotted lining the homes of Orange County residents as they prepare for the upcoming El Nino to strike Southern California.

Kristine Carter, who lives on Silverado Canyon Road in Silverado, has already seen flooding and mudslides this year from a small September storm that turned her road into a river.

"Massive water just kind of going down, especially on the burn areas up there, it can also cause the debris to kind of flow through," Carter explained.

Dealing with past experiences, Carter is preparing for the forecast of heavy rains this winter, brought on by El Nino, which scientists said could be one of the strongest ever.

MORE: ABC7 identifies likely trouble spots on roads during El Nino

"There's concerns that obviously if more accumulates, that there could be dams formed, and then massive flooding," Carter said.

Silverado Canyon Road is one of the areas the Orange County Fire Authority and other emergency agencies plan to keep an eye on during any El Nino storms.

Fire stations all over the county are already passing out hundreds of sandbags and bales of hay to help people protect their property.

"All the experts are predicting, this is going to be a really strong El Nino, and it's here, we have to prepare now, because we know it's going to happen," Cpt. Steve Concialdi with the Orange County Fire Authority said.

Orange County has seen heavy rains in the past as a series of storms flooded Laguna Beach in December of 2010.

MORE: El Nino resources on the Internet

The flooding also caused damage to Trabuco Creek in South County.

The fire authority hopes people learn from the past and do everything to prepare now.

"If we have severe rain, you're going to have to leave. Listen to law enforcement. When they issue those evacuation orders, leave," Concialdi said.

Officials also want to remind residents to have an evacuation plan and be ready to go at a moment's notice.

For ABC7's latest coverage of El Nino, click here.