Evacuation orders downgraded to voluntary in Holy Fire burn areas in Lake Elsinore

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KABC) -- Mandatory evacuation orders were downgraded to voluntary Saturday evening in Holy Fire burn scar in Lake Elsinore as a major storm doused the Southland.

As of 6 p.m., Riverside County officials announced the downgrade for the following areas:

-Glen Eden
-Glen Ivy A and B
-Horsethief A
-Laguna A
-McVicker A
-Withrow A
-Lakeside A

Areas under ongoing voluntary evacuation orders are:

-Alvarado A
-Horsethief B

On Brookstone Street in Lake Elsinore, a Riverside County crew used an excavator perched on the side of a canal to try and intercept boulders and other debris caught in a deep-brown torrent of water that would otherwise become trapped at an overpass and block the canal.

The rocks and boulders were moving with such force that they could be heard as they loudly slammed into the canal wall.

VIDEO: Public works crew races to clear debris from raging Lake Elsinore flood canal
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Public works crews raced Saturday to keep canals and flood channels clear of debris in flood-prone areas as a storm dropped inches of rain on Southern California.

On Dale Court, also in Lake Elsinore, sandbags and K-rails were helping block debris flow from getting into homes. Just behind a row of houses is a channel that was put in place for debris flow to move down stream, and a river of mud was doing just that during the heavy downpour.

The large storm moved into the Southland Friday night, hitting Santa Barbara and Ventura counties first. It then moved deeper into the region Saturday morning and got stronger as the day progressed.

A flash flood warning was place until 5:30 p.m. in Riverside County, including parts of the Holy Fire burn area. Up to 4 inches of rain was expected to fall in many parts of Southern California.

On Thursday, the first of the series of storms prompted mandatory evacuation orders for the Lake Elsinore area, but they were later canceled as the storm's intensity dwindled.

A care and reception center at Elsinore High School, 21800 Canyon Dr. in Wildomar, has been set up. You may also call (951) 940-6985 for more information.

The Holy Fire burned through about 23,000 acres in the Cleveland National Forest in Orange and Riverside counties in August 2018. The flames stripped hillsides bare, leaving them less able to absorb the flow of water and leading to an increased danger of mudslides and debris flows.
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