Laguna Beach cleans up after mud flows
The cleanup continued under clear skies at Laguna Beach on Thursday morning after heavy rains that unleashed a mud flow through downtown and prompted some evacuations.
Residents of Hidden Valley Canyon Road remain under mandatory evacuation orders until further notice, according to the city. Aerial footage showed that mud smashed into a number of homes, causing visible structural damage and even reached some roofs.
Those residents and any others in need were invited to spend the night at the Laguna Beach High School north gym.
On Wednesday night, limited access to Laguna Canyon was granted to residents, and there was no access from the 73 Freeway to Big Bend.
But businesses in the shopping district still hoped to take advantage of the last sliver of a washed-out Christmas shopping season. Merchants had swept out mud, set up sandbag barriers and were getting ready to be open for business Thursday morning.
Officials said that Pacific Coast Highway and the downtown business district, including Ocean Avenue, should be accessible.
Footage from KCAL-Channel 5 showed piles of ripped-out carpet and padding ruined by flooding. One merchant spoke of finding four inches of mud in her store from the front door to the back door, ruining any merchandise within its reach.
-- Howard Blume
Photo: Deborah Farhad walks into her muddy kitchen on Sun Valley Drive in Laguna Beach on Wednesday. “We’ve lost everything, but it’s just things,” Farhad said. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times