With heavy rainfall predicted to arrive late Friday evening, voluntary evacuation warnings were issued for neighborhoods bordering the eastern boundary of the Cleveland National Forest in Riverside County.
The Emergency Management Department advised residents in the following locations in the Temescal Valley and north Lake Elsinore to leave for safer locations as a precaution: Alberhill, Alvarado-A, Glen Eden, Glen Ivy, Grace, Horsethief-A, Laguna-A, Lakeside-A, Maitri, McVicker-A, Rice and Withrow-A.
The voluntary evacuation zones can be identified via maps provided by the EMD at www.RivCoReady.org/Storm, or by contacting officials at the county Emergency Operations Center, (951) 940-6985.
A care and reception center has been established at Elsinore High School, 21800 Canyon Drive, Wildomar.
It was unknown when or if the county might issue mandatory evacuations, as it did when the first storm in the three-part series triggered thunderstorms Thursday.
This second storm impacting the Inland Empire is expected to produce locally heavy downpours beginning in the predawn hours Saturday and continuing into Saturday night.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch, effective 7 a.m. Saturday and ending at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. Most of western Riverside County was included in the watch. The Coachella Valley was not.
“Heavy rainfall could trigger flash flooding in low-lying areas,” according to the NWS. “Heavy rain capable of triggering debris flows is most likely between noon and 5 p.m. Saturday.”
The Riverside metropolitan area could get up to 1.2 inches of rainfall, while Lake Elsinore is expected to see up to 1.8 inches and the San Gorgonio Pass is forecast to get around 2 inches, meteorologists said. Up to 2.4 inches of precipitation is predicted for Idyllwild, and the Coachella Valley will receive around a half-inch.
Multiple neighborhoods fell under mandatory evacuation orders at intervals between Jan. 14 and Jan. 17, when the last storm series produced intense downpours, resulting in a number of street closures. Mud and debris flows, however, did not cause any serious damage to residential properties.
A wide area skirting the eastern side of the national forest, bordering Lake Elsinore and the Temescal Valley, was left exposed to potential flood damage because of the 23,000-acre Holy Fire in August. The blaze, allegedly the work of an arsonist, denuded steep terrain below Santiago Peak, permitting water to flow unchecked onto lower slopes where subdivisions are situated.
Rain showers are expected to linger through Sunday afternoon, then the third storm front will bring lighter precipitation Monday morning through Tuesday, according to the Weather Service.
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