Advice Offered to Flood Victims


Local flood victims are invited to meet Tuesday, Jan. 25, with several local professionals who will offer tips and assistance at the Susi Q Senior Center.

Insurance broker John Campbell Insurance will offer tips on discussing claims with insurers; Wells Fargo banker Chad Hinton will have information for business and personal loans; and attorney Larry Nokes offer advice on landlord-tenant issues.

A representative from the American Red Cross will also attend, said Faye Chapman, chair of the Laguna Relief and Resource Center, which organized the meeting.

State officials have requested a presidential disaster declaration for several areas including Orange County. That disaster declaration request is pending.

Large Donors Jump Start PMMC Repairs

Animal activist and wildlife philanthropist Bob Barker as well as the Pacific Life Foundation stepped up to assist the Pacific Marine Mammal Center with donations to help rebuild the center, which sustained damages exceeding $215,000 during the worst flood damage in 40 years during the Dec. 22 storm.

Over four feet of water from heavy rains and an overwhelmed drainage system destroyed the facility’s interior, rendering a majority of the important medical supplies and diagnostic equipment unsalvageable and ruining all of the center’s major appliances and cabinetry. On the exterior, the cresting creek and mudslides destroyed fencing and left a thick layer of mud and piles of debris in their wake.

Barker’s $250,000 donation will go towards the cost of replacing supplies and equipment needed to get the center up and running again.

Pacific Life’s $50,000 donation will go towards the same need.

Such donations accelerate the center’s timeline for repairs, according to executive director Colleen O’Higgins, who added that it “…gives us the strength and courage to keep moving forward…”

Pacific Marine Mammal Center is located in the large red barn at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road.  For more information, contact Melissa Sciacca at 494-3050, or visit

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