Heavy Rain Pounding Southland Forces Evacuations in Lake Elsinore, PCH Closure in Huntington Beach

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As heavy rains across the Southland flooded roads on Wednesday, officials issued mandatory evacuations for residents in one Lake Elsinore community burned by the Holy Fire.

Residents in the zone designated as Laguna A were told to evacuate due to storm risks, with officials warning of hillsides where boulders and other debris could come crashing down.

"People in this zone MUST GO NOW," reads a statement issued by state fire and forest officials.

Earlier, roads were flooded in Huntington Beach, where Caltrans officials put up signs warning motorists, video from the scene showed. As of Wednesday morning, 3.78 inches of rain had fallen in the Huntington Beach area, according to the National Weather Service.

The heavy rains also caused the closure of a 3-mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach, which was later reopened by 2:30 p.m., according to Caltrans.

The night before, video of some neighborhoods showed residents struggling to keeping the flooding from entering their homes, sweeping away the water with brooms as rainfall continued to pour down.

Rainfall also caused an industrial complex's roof to collapse in Fountain Valley Tuesday night. The Fountain Valley Fire Department responded, along with city building and safety officials to assess the damage. No injuries were reported during the incident.

The storm system that began dropping rain on the Southland Wednesday afternoon was expected to linger through most of Thursday.

A flash flood watch would remain in effect in Orange County until Thursday.

A care and reception center for evacuees was set up at Temescal Canyon High School, located at 28755 El Toro Road in Lake Elsinore.

Small animals could be brought to the San Jacinto Animal Campus, located at 581 South Grand Avenue in San Jacinto, while those with large animals could contact Riverside County Animal Services at 951-358-7387 for assistance.

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