A powerful storm has caused flooding in Laguna Beach, prompting a major closure of Laguna Canyon Road and evacuations in the area, officials said.
The roadway is closed between Canyon Acres and El Toro Road, police said. In addition, both directions of El Toro were closed between Laguna Canyon Road and the 73 toll road. It is expected to be closed until 5 p.m.
Officials advised motorists to use caution while driving in the area.
Low-lying ares of Laguna Canyon and the Sun Valley neighborhood of Laguna Beach have been evacuated because of the rain. The Alternative Sleeping Location, at 20652 Laguna Canyon Rd. has also been evacuated, Laguna Beach police officials tweeted.
The Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center, at 380 3rd St. is being used as an evacuation center.
The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is sheltering in place during the storm. "The animals are safe and the building is not flooding," city officials said in a tweet.
Flooding was also a concern at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in the area, where sick California sea lions are being cared for.
A 2010 storm caused damage to buildings at the mammal center, so officials there take extra precautions anytime there are heavy rains, CEO Peter Chang told KTLA.
Video shared in a tweet by the city showed major flooding in Laguna Canyon.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch in areas of Orange County, including Laguna Beach, until 10 p.m. Thursday.
In addition, an urban and small stream flood advisory remains in effect in Orange County Thursday.
Rain is pounding the southland and wreaking havoc in other counties as well Thursday.