Silverado Canyon residents bracing for potentially damaging mudslides ahead of new storm

Jessica De Nova Image
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Silverado Canyon locals bracing for potential mudslides ahead of storm
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Residents living in the Bond Fire burn area, including Silverado Canyon, are bracing for a new storm this week that could bring damaging mudslides.

SILVERADO CANYON, Calif. (KABC) -- Residents living in the Bond Fire burn area, including the Silverado Canyon community of Orange County, are bracing for a new storm this week that could bring damaging mudslides.

Many are still cleaning up from last week's rain that triggered multiple mudslides. The Orange County Public Works Department says five homes were red-tagged following that deluge.

One longtime resident says the Bond Fire in December 2020 changed everything.

"There's little or no vegetation, so that means that anything that hits the hill comes straight down in a matter of minutes," Jesse Peterson said.

Orange County firefighters rescued trapped residents as Tuesday's storm triggered multiple mudslides in Silverado Canyon and other burn areas.

Melissa Malpass doesn't have time to think about the holiday or about delivering her baby in three months. The Malpass family lost their home in the Bond Fire, and they're now preparing for another storm expected Thursday.

A mudslide during heavy rain last week sent the family's water line downhill.

"We need Mother Nature to give us a break for a couple years. That would be nice, and mainly just funding to pay for our water line that's now missing," Malpass said.

Southern California's big storm left at least five homes red-tagged in Silverado Canyon after rain triggered mudslides. The storm led to cars getting destroyed and trees being uprooted.

During last week's storm, culverts were completely blocked by the muddy debris and people living in the area say they didn't have time to wait and see whether the county or insurance would help cover the costs of clearing it up. Instead, they set up a GoFundMe account - the Silverado Flood Relief Fund - to help pay for all the cleanup work.

A large part of that work is on private roads.

"Unfortunately, that means that county doesn't come in to help us," Malpass said. "It's all up to residents and people who are kindly donating to our GoFundMe account so we can pay private individuals to come up on their own time with dump trucks and excavators."