[UPDATED:] Storm Status: Road and Shelter Closures

Update, December 22, 10:08 p.m.: The emergency shelter at Mission Viejo High School has closed, the county announced this evening.

Evacuated residents in need of shelter can still go to Laguna Beach High School and El Modena High School in Orange. (Addresses are on the next page.)

The county's most recent storm status update follows . . .  


Update, December 22, 1:13 p.m.: Anyone know what that large, hot, bright, spherical thing in the sky is right now?

Oops, it's gone again.

Update, December 22, 12:49 p.m.:
The Orange County Operational Area Operations Center has updated its
list of local road closures caused by flooding and slides tied to the
severe storms. These follow after the jump.

Again, register for online alerts at www.alertoc.com; receive evacuation information at
prepareoc.org; or, if you have any access or functional needs, call the Public Information
Hotline at 714.628.7085.

Updated road closures:

Update, December 22, 12:30 p.m.: Emergency shelters have been opened for Orange County residents who have been evacuated from their homes.

Separate shelters have been set up for pets and animals, big and small.

Shelters for people (no pets or animals):

  • El Modena High School, 3920 Spring St., Orange;
  • Mission Viejo High School, 25025 Chrisanta Drive, Mission Viejo;
  • Laguna Beach High School, 625 Park Ave., Laguna Beach.

Shelter for people with pets:

  • Orange County Animal Shelter, 561 The City Drive South, Orange. Call 714.935.6848 for up-to-date details.

Shelter for people with large and small animals:

  • Orange County Fairgrounds, 100 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. (Use fairgrounds entrance off Arlington Drive at Gate 8). Call 714.708.1588 for up-to-date details.

Pet and animal owners are asked to bring identification, vet information and special foods and medications.

Update, December 22, 11:35 a.m.: The Orange County Operational Area Operations Center confirms the San Juan Capistrano evacuation that the Weekly's proofreader called in about.

to instability at the Trabuco Creek levee, the following area is under
voluntary evacuation: south of Del Obispo Street, east of Alipaz Street
and west to the railroad tracks. Please evacuate the area if it is safe to do so. A shelter is operational at Mission Viejo High School at 25025 Chrisanta Drive.”

Update, December 22, 11:18 am: Two things:

1) I'm hearing thunder rumbling again (over Costa Mesa).

2) Jack Grimshaw, who proofreads the Weekly's print edition, phoned to say his office in San Juan Capistrano has been evacuated. 

Update, December 22, 11:04 a.m.: The Orange County Operational Area Operations Center has announced several road closures due to flooding and debris caused by the ongoing storms. The agency has also reminded residents where to go to get updates on closures and conditions. These follow after this list of the current road closures:

  • Santiago Canyon between the 261/241 Tollroad on ramps and Cook's Corner

  • Modjeska Canyon

  • Trabuco Canyon Road past Rose Canyon

  • Modjeska Grade between Santiago Canyon and Shadow Canyon

  • Live Oak closed at O'Neil Park

  • Harding Canyon Bridge

  • Santiago Canyon Kitterman Bridge

  • Oso Parkway westbound at Antonio Parkway

  • Laguna Canyon Road (73 Tollroad) and all streets in downtown Laguna Beach

  • Ortega Highway at La Pata

  • Lake Forest Drive between Muirlands and Jeronimo

  • 241Tollroad northbound between the 133 and 261 Tollroads

You can receive emergency alerts on your cell phones and to your e-mail
addresses by registering online at www.alertoc.com.  

Phone numbers
registered through the alert system will only be called only if the registered address is affected by
an emergency situation. More evacuation information is available at

If you have any access or functional needs, the Public Information
Hotline is at 714.628.7085.

Residents are encouraged to monitor local
news outlets for the latest information.

Original Post, December 22,
10:03 a.m.:
I know this may be news to you, but a massive storm battered
Orange County overnight. It's so bad that Governor Arnold
declared a state of emergency here to go along with the
local one proclaimed a day earlier by the county Board of Supervisors.

But don't worry: the worst may be yet to come.

Wait, that didn't come out right.
Here's our Weather Track Doppler L.E.D. Readout NCIS SVU 9000 scorecard on the damage (so far). Feel free to add your own stormy experiences to the comments section:

  • Downtown Laguna Beach is flooded.

  • Mud and rock slides closed Laguna Canyon Road and other surface streets.

  • Part of Main Beach washed away.

  • Modjeska,
    Santiago and Silverado canyons were evacuated because of mudslides. There were reports of tumbling boulders in Silverado.

  • Orange County Fire Authority rescued a woman whose car drove into a rain-swollen wash in Irvine.

  • Parts or all of Ortega Highway, Brea Boulevard, the 241 toll road, Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach closed.

  • Metrolink and Amtrak service from San Juan Capistrano to Oceanside has been disrupted due to mudslides.

  • It may get worse: after days of warm, tropical rain that has saturated the ground, the most intense storm of the week caused by subtropical moisture from the western Pacific colliding with a cold storm from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to produce hail, lightning and waterspouts later today.

Buckle up, OC.

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