Lake Hemet Campground ordered to evacuate as rain inundates creek

HEMET, Calif. (KABC) -- About a dozen mobile homes and RVs along the water's edge at the Lake Hemet Campground were under evacuation orders as water inundated Hurky Creek.

A few months ago the creek was only a few feet wide, but on Wednesday it spanned more than 150 feet. It's partly because of runoff from the Cranston Fire burn scar.

"They're predicting 5 inches of rain maybe from now until tomorrow night and snow after that, so we're a little concerned about our units here," resident Greg Helmer said.

So is management. Notices went up on about a dozen units, telling homeowners the time to move their units is now.

"They can't do that. Look at them. They're built here on the ground. They're not going anywhere," resident Don Millard said.

He also wonders what the water district and campground have done to prepare for all of the rain.

"There was no preventative maintenance whatsoever. They knew this was coming," he said.

The Lake Hemet Municipal Water District said there was a backhoe out there in summer 2018. But beyond that, the district blames Mother Nature, saying it did not expect 23 inches of rain this year with 7 of this inches coming in after Valentine's Day.

Campground officials said the tenants have rental agreements that say it's their responsibility to move if necessary.

"Everybody evacuate. Everybody evacuate - that was their solution. Everything was destroyed and it makes no sense," Millard said.

Caltrans officials said highways 243 and 74, which aren't far from the Lake Hemet Campground, could be closed for months because of recent storm damage.
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