Rain-triggered mudslides in burn areas of Silverado, Modjeska and Williams canyons in OC prompt mandatory evacs

SILVERADO CANYON, Calif. (KABC) -- A storm moving across Southern California is causing problems for residents in several Orange County communities, which saw some mudslides Wednesday morning.

Silverado Canyon was shut down between Olive Drive and Ladd Canyon due to a mudslide in that area, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. A mandatory evacuation order for that community was issued shortly after 9 a.m.

Authorities initially issued voluntary evacuation orders for Modjeska and Williams canyons, but that was later upgraded to a mandatory order. The mandatory evacuation order for that area will be in place until at least 8 a.m. Thursday.

Residents who are unable to evacuate the area due to mud debris were advised to shelter in place until officials cleared the roads.

A temporary evacuation center was established at El Modena High School at 3920 E. Spring Street in Orange.

Those areas were all burned by the Bond Fire in December. The blaze stripped more 6,000 acres in the area, leaving prime conditions for mudslides.

Residents in the area have kept a close eye on the barren hillsides every time heavy rain hits. Wednesday's rain was their fourth storm since that fire so they felt that any mud that would come down already had during previous storms. But they were mistaken.

"Mud came down the first two storms, but the third storm, we didn't have anything. So... everybody kind of felt like what whatever has come down has come down and that's about it, but (at) 7 a.m. this morning it just went crazy," said Silverado Canyon resident Chris Ashton.

The Orange County Fire Authority says four Silverado Canyon residents were helped by firefighters after they became trapped in their homes by a mudslide.

The flowing mud engulfed some cars in the neighborhood, but no injuries or serious damage have been reported.

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