Work to stabilize hillside behind Casa Romantica put on hold due to Hurricane Hilary

David González Image
Sunday, August 20, 2023
Work to stabilize hillside at Casa Romantica put on hold due to Hilary
As Hurricane Hilary makes its way toward Southern California, many have eyes on the historic Casa Romantica in San Clemente, which was heavily damaged earlier this year by a landslide.

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KABC) -- The impact of Hurricane Hilary on Orange County's coastal communities and beaches is yet to be seen, but people have been preparing for days.

However, some have eyes on the historic Casa Romantica in San Clemente, which was heavily damaged earlier this year by a landslide.

According to city officials, work to stabilize the hillside behind the building has been put on hold.

"We're putting that visqueen, that plastic tarp, on top of the hillside to prepare for any kind of damage that may occur due to the rainfall," said San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan on Friday. "They're going to move probably some dirt around, try and kind of get it situated so that it's least likely to slide with a lot of moisture that we're expecting."

In Huntington Beach, residents who live near the water like Lindsay and Greg Olson are not waiting around.

"You just never know," said Lindsay. "If you're safe afterwards, it's like ok, but the one chance you don't prepare, that's going to be the chance that you wish you had."

The city of Huntington Beach opened up a sandbag station for people who want secure their homes from the incoming storm.

"Prepping for just the rain and wind mostly so taking down all our patio stuff and just making sure no water comes into the house is the main thing," said Greg about his prep work.

Huntington Beach Public Affairs Manager Jennifer Carey said people are heeding the warnings since storms like Hilary are rare.

"The tropical storm is a little scary for people. They're not used to hearing that associated to a storm system that comes through this area and it is not common," Carey said. "The other thing we're hearing too is they saw what happened in Maui and there are concerns about being prepared and making sure that they can do everything they possibly can to prevent any sort of natural disaster in Huntington Beach."

As Hilary continues to churn toward Southern California, those planning to prepare for the storm shouldn't wait until the last minute.

"Don't wait too long. We're here and it's busy," Lindsay said.

The Huntington Beach sandbag fill-up station is located at 17371 Gothard Street.