Holy Flood Watch: Be Engaged Lake Elsinore

Residents are urged to stay alert and engaged for any potential risk.

Post Date:11/19/2019 9:00 AM

This year, public safety, city and county officials have increased the rain thresholds for our community, which means while the risks of debris flows continue they have been reduced.   

At this time, there are no plans for evacuations. However, we urge our community to  remain safe and stay prepared as we continue to monitor these upcoming storms. See warnings and ways to get prepared below. 

The County Emergency Management Department and Riverside County Sheriff's Office have decided to use the following new statewide universal evacuation verbiage as follows: 

  • Evacuation Order: Immediate threat to life. This is a lawful order to leave now. The area is lawfully closed to public access. 
  • Evacuation Warning: Potential threat to life and/or property. Those who require additional time to evacuate, and those with pets and livestock, should leave now. 
  • Shelter in Place: Go indoors. Shut and lock doors and windows. Prepare to self-sustain until further notice and/or contacted by emergency personnel for additional direction.

Update from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: There will be erratic winter weather patterns with drought like conditions going forward. NOAA expects more rain events coming from monsoonal season.

The Flood Risk 

Post wildfire areas are at-risk of debris flows, which are deadly, fast-moving landslides. There is also a risk of flooding, mudflow, rockfalls and other landslides during and immediately after rain. Click here to look up your address in the Post Wildfire Risk & Evacuations Map

Debris flows can happen with little to no warning. As always, residents are urged to remain vigilant and take personal responsibility for their safety.  Officials might only be able to provide a few minutes' notice, or none at all. If your home is in an at-risk area, it is critical that you understand the seriousness of the situation and are always prepared. Find out more at

Stay tuned Lake Elsinore. Each storm the city and regional agencies will be assessing risk to determine what actions to take to avoid any threats to our community.

Stay #ElsinoreStrong and don't forget to sign up for emergency alerts  at or download the Swift 911 Public App.

Riverside County and City officials urge everyone near the Holy Fire burn area to take the following steps:


  1. Are You at Risk? Determine if your home, business, schools or necessary travel routes are in the at-risk areas by entering your address into our risk map at or access the map directly at If you do not have access to the internet, call (951) 358-7100. 
  2. School Plan: Learn the plan for your local school. Parents of school age children should contact their school district or visit their official websites to learn what steps the district will take to ensure student safety. This may include school closures and evacuations. Find out more from the Lake Elsinore and Caltrans’ website at
  3. Debris Flows: Learn about debris flows at These dangers are different than the water and mud of typical storms.
  4. Flood Insurance: Most homeowners insurance does not cover floods or flows from natural disasters. Make sure your home is protected. Refer to the National Flood Insurance Program website at Act now. Most flood insurance policies take up to 30 days to go into effect.
  5. Have a Plan: Have an emergency plan and a disaster kit ready to go. For more information, visit


  1. Follow all evacuation orders by public safety officials. Sign up for evacuation alerts at During evacuation orders, the County of Riverside Emergency Operations Center will be activated and a hotline will be available for the public to call with questions regarding flooding and debris flows at (951) 358-5134.
  2. Leave before any flows begin, during Evacuation Warnings (Voluntary). This is the only safe time to leave. If debris flows, mud or water are already flowing, get higher than the flow, such as going to the highest floor in your home.
  3. Heed all evacuations. Evacuation Warnings (Voluntary) will be issued for at-risk areas 24-48 hours before an expected storm. As stated above, the safest time to leave is during an evacuation warning (voluntary) before any flows begin. Mandatory evacuation orders will be issued 6-12 hours before the storm.
  4. Monitor official weather reports and heed weather alerts. Understand that the weather where you are can be different than back in the mountains where the flows start. Get the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.  
  5. Never drive or walk into flood waters, mud or debris, and never go around barricades. It is impossible to know how deep the water or mud is just by looking at it and the depth can change quickly.
  6. Use Sandbags. Protect your home with sandbags and other methods to divert water from entering and reduce erosion on your property. They do not protect from debris flow. The City is offering 50 free sandbags for all residents. Find out more

Videos from Valentine's Day Storm 2018

Below are two videos showing the risks associated with debris flows and flooding, generally. Please be sure to be prepared and be safe Lake Elsinore.

#HolyFloodWatch Drone Footage after Valentine's Day of Leach Canyon

Segment Showing Flooding Across Riverside County: 

Other Available Resources from 2018 Holy Flood Watch Efforts 

Stages of Holy Flood Watch - Get Ready, Should Go, Must Go  (Door Hanger) 

Ways to Prepare for Flooding Related to the Holy Fire - Holy Flood Ready 

Debris Flow FAQs

Debris Flow FAQs (Spanish) 

Community Letter to Residents Threatened by Winter Storms Due to the Holy Fire

Community Letter to Residents Threatened by Winter Storms Due to Holy Fire (Spanish) 

Annual Rainfall Summary Report from Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District

Other Important Information:  

VOLUNTARY EVACUATIONS can turn into MANDATORY EVACUATIONS in a matter of minutes. Once mandatory evacuations are ordered, you may not be able to go back to your home until it is cleared by officials.                 

We will keep you updated here and at @RivCoReady. Monitor official social media pages for weather reports and updates from officials.                                                            

Debris Evac Logo Final



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