Laguna Beach encourages residents to prepare ahead of heavy rains

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Flood waters deposit mud on the Main Beach boardwalk and into the first floors of many downtown merchants in December 2010.

Laguna Beach braced for heavy rain and potential flash floods during a storm expected to land between Thursday, Jan. 28 through Friday, Jan. 29.

City officials advised downtown business owners and residents to install their flood gates as a precautionary measure to protect their properties.

“To avoid being trapped when floodwaters threaten your area, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to evacuate before the flooding starts,” city officials said in a release. “Weather watches, warnings, and evacuation notices are science-based predictions that are intended to provide adequate time for evacuation. Those who wait for actual confirmation of catastrophic levels may be trapped by flooding or traffic.”

If any Laguna Beach residents are forced to evacuate, city officials plan to use the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center as a temporary evacuation point. The center will not be used as an overnight shelter due to COVID-19 concerns. Those who arrive at the temporary evacuation point and need longer-term shelter will be connected with the American Red Cross and relocated to hotel rooms, Laguna Beach emergency operations coordinator Brendan Manning wrote in an email.

Laguna Beach is providing pre-filled sandbags to residents and business owners from Act V parking lot, 1900 Laguna Canyon Rd. and Aliso Beach East parking, 31118 Coast Hwy. Contractors aren’t permitted to pick-up these sandbags.

Sandbags are also available at Laguna Beach’s four fire stations. They are free; however, residents must provide their own sand. Laguna Beach doesn’t permit people to fill them with sand from Laguna’s beaches or playgrounds.

For local locations where sand can be purchased visit lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/police/emergprep/sandbags.htm

Community members should visit AlertOC.com to register their cell phone numbers, text numbers, and email addresses into the mass notification system. Emergency planners recommend registering work and home addresses separately to ensure receipt of notifications for each location. Residents should also register for Laguna Beach’s Nixle Community Alert system for local weather-related information, traffic-related information, and urgent safety messages. To sign up, text 92651 to 888-777.

Visit lagunabeachcity.net/getprepared for additional information about emergency preparedness and for video footage from past Laguna Beach disasters.

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